News Briefs

KSU football team to honor losses suffered in devastating wildfires

By: - December 21, 2021 3:09 pm
The image from video shot from an airplane illustrates the scope of Dec. 15 wildfires that burned about 400,000 acres in Kansas. On Jan. 4, the Kansas State Wildcats will wear special wildfire stickers on their helmets during the bowl game against LSU. (Screen captre/Kansas Reflector)

The image from video shot from an airplane illustrates the scope of Dec. 15 wildfires that burned about 400,000 acres in Kansas. On Jan. 4, the Kansas State Wildcats will wear special wildfire stickers on their helmets during the bowl game against LSU. (Screen captre/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — The Kansas State University football team will wear a special decal on their helmets during the Jan. 4 bowl game to express empathy for people who suffered losses from wildfires that scorched more than 400,000 acres in central Kansas.

The Wildcats are scheduled to play Louisiana State University in the TaxAct Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium in Houston.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the many Kansans who were affected by the recent storms and wildfires,” said Gene Taylor, director of athletics at Kansas State in Manhattan. “This helmet sticker is a small department-wide gesture that will let all K-Staters and those effected by this storm know that we are with them as they rebuild their lives and their livelihoods.”

On Tuesday, K-State officials said the decal would be affixed to the back of players’ helmets.

Winds that topped 100 miles per hour on Dec. 15 spread brush fires that destroyed homes, vehicles, barns, equipment and was responsible for killing livestock and pets.

Damage stretched from smaller fires in Finney, Scott and Gove counties and included the four-county fire infiltrating parts of Ellis, Rooks, Russell and Osborne counties.

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., said farmers or ranchers in need of immediate mental health assistance could contact the Kansas Suicide Prevention Line at 785-841-2345. In addition, Kansas Recovery Resources can be found through the Kansas Department of Agriculture here.

Donations can also be made through the Kansas Livestock Association here. HitchPin is working to coordinate assistance through this form.

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Tim Carpenter
Tim Carpenter

Tim Carpenter has reported on Kansas for 35 years. He covered the Capitol for 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal and previously worked for the Lawrence Journal-World and United Press International. He has been recognized for investigative reporting on Kansas government and politics. He won the Kansas Press Association's Victor Murdock Award six times. The William Allen White Foundation honored him four times with its Burton Marvin News Enterprise Award. The Kansas City Press Club twice presented him its Journalist of the Year Award and more recently its Lifetime Achievement Award. He earned an agriculture degree at Kansas State University and grew up on a small dairy and beef cattle farm in Missouri. He is an amateur woodworker and drives Studebaker cars.

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