Massive 8-alarm fire destroys multiple homes in Kansas

iStock/Thinkstock(OVERLAND PARK, Kan.) — An eight-alarm fire that began at an unoccupied apartment complex in Kansas on Monday injured three firefighters and destroyed multiple homes, according to emergency officials.

The fire broke out at an apartment complex under construction in Overland Park, Kansas at around 3:30 p.m. Monday before quickly spreading to several homes nearby, Fire Department Chief Bryan Dehner said Monday evening.

At least 17 homes were affected by fire in the incident, but "there may be some other damage out there," Dehner said while speaking at a press conference.

He described their conditions as a "mixed bag" of damaged and destroyed.

Officials said the blaze was extinguished Tuesday morning and that crews were looking for hot spots and putting out any flames that may be buried under debris.

Three firefighters were transported to a local hospital with minor injuries but appear to be doing well officials said early Tuesday.

Much of the damage to the homes was caused by heat exposure and flying embers, according to Overland Park Fire Department spokesman Jason Rhodes, who described the scene as "a bit of a war zone" on Monday.

He said the fire was intensified by winds, which pushed fire embers south.

The cause of the fire was not immediately clear, but a spokesperson on Tuesday said investigators will look to see if anything in the construction process could have sparked the blaze.

Officials said about 40 fire personnel from different state and federal agencies will come in to inspect the homes that were impacted.

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California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfires

California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfiresGoogle Earth(NEW YORK) -- Ravaged by a slew of deadly wildfires in recent days, northern California is set to get a bit of relief this week in the form of rain.

A storm system is expected to move over the Pacific Northwest later this week and the trailing cold front will most likely bring some much-needed rain to northern California between Thursday and Friday, according to ABC meteorologists.

"It will rain a bit but not enough to fully douse the blazes," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark said in a statement Tuesday. "The biggest advantage to firefighters will be the increase in humidity and lower temperatures."

Massive wildfires have charred more than 245,000 acres of land statewide in the past week, killing at least 41 people and destroying thousands of homes, according to authorities.

Firefighters were battling about a dozen wildfires as of late Tuesday evening, although most of them were more than halfway contained.

“The weather today will be warm with low humidity, which will continue to challenge firefighters, but only light winds are forecast,” CalFire said in a statement on Tuesday. “A chance of precipitation is expected to arrive later in the week, bringing relief from the dry conditions.”

The northern parts of the Golden State, which has bared the brunt of the fire damage, is forecast to see an influx of cloudy, cooler and wetter weather later in the week, according to AccuWeather.

Spotter from Los Osos was reporting sprinkles from this high level moisture. Dry at lower levels. Rain evaporates. Also called "Virga" #cawx pic.twitter.com/sgxj3bdXZQ

— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) October 18, 2017

However, a return of dry air, heat and areas of gusty winds could once again raise the wildfire danger early next week, meteorologists said.

Separately, a band of moisture, referred to as Atmospheric River by weather experts, is currently stretching between Asia and North America. It’s expected to bring several storm systems into many parts of the Pacific Northwest through the rest of the week.

The first of these storms have already hit the Pacific Northwest with wind gusts of between 40 and 74 mph.

A number of wind warnings and flood watches are in effect in the western and northern parts of the U.S. ahead of the storm.

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