Grass fires consume thousands of acres

? Two wind-blown fires burned an estimated 14,000 acres of rural land in western Kansas’ Hodgeman County on Wednesday in the latest of a spate of large-scale blazes in the state.

“This is terribly unusual,” said Joy Moser, spokeswoman for the Kansas Division of Emergency Management. “It’s dry. It’s way too dry. We haven’t had anything like this in years.”

While failing to match the acreage scorched in Texas and Oklahoma, Kansas fires consumed an estimated 15,000 acres of land in Meade County on Sunday and another 10,700 acres in Butler County last week. Smaller fires of a few thousand acres each have been reported in several other Kansas counties.

The Hodgeman County fires, each burning an estimated 7,000 acres, were reported around noon Wednesday.

Moser said the fire in the eastern part of the county, north of Hanston, was out by Wednesday night. She said crews were putting out the remnants of the second fire, which started not far from the Hodgeman-Finney County line.

Moser said no one was reported hurt and no houses were damaged.

The cause of the fires wasn’t immediately determined.