This week, readers wondered about the Starbuck fire, radio towers and primaries.


Q: There was a devastating fire in Oklahoma and Southwest Kansas in March 2017. It was called the "Starbucks" fire. Why was it called the "Starbucks" fire?

It was named after Slapout, Okla., fire chief Charlie Starbuck, according to media sources.

A story in the Wichita Eagle said Starbuck was one of the first to respond to the roaring fire. A colleague called dispatchers asking for a plane to fight the fire. Dispatchers, however, needed a name for the fire to send out a plane, and they called it Starbuck.

Fires are often named after locations where they start, and dispatchers are tasked with naming them. Quickly naming them helps first responders find, fight and track developing incidents.

The Starbuck fire started in Beaver County, Okla., and occurred when strong winds knocked down a power line, then continued on through the Kansas counties of Meade, Clark and Comanche.

The 460,000-plus acres burned in Kansas makes the Starbuck fire the largest in Kansas history.


Q: Is there still a radio station on the CHS ground site in McPherson? I see a radio tower and small buildings. Why would they put a giant radio tower in the middle of the CHS property?

I connected with Bryan Brignac, director of marketing and communications for the CHS Energy Division.

“The radio antenna tower is owned by a local broadcast operation, KNGL-AM/KBBE-FM,” Brignac said. “CHS purchased a parcel of land in 2003 where the station radio antenna was located. The antenna remains on CHS property as part of a long-term lease agreement. The radio station offices and staff relocated into the city of McPherson but still maintains the antenna as a vital part of their broadcast operations.”


Q: When is the primary for Pat Roberts’ Senate seat?

The primary for the 2020 United States Senate election in Kansas will be held on Aug. 4, 2020.

Sen. Pat Roberts announced on Jan. 4, 2019, that he would not run for a fifth term, which sparked a stampede of politicians vying for the seat.

The deadline to file to run for the office is June 1, 2020, so there’s still plenty of time for more people to drop their names in the hat. Current politicians running in the Republican primary include Kris Kobach, Roger Marshall and Susan Wagle. Democrats running in that primary include Barbara Bollier and Robert Tillman.

The general election for this race is Nov. 3, 2020. This is the same election day for the 2020 U.S. presidential election, as well as other elections to the Senate, House of Representatives and various state and local elections.


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