April Burn Restrictions
Affected Counties - Butler, Chase, Chautauqua, Cowley, Elk, Geary, Greenwood, Johnson, Lyon, Marion, Morris, Pottawatomie, Riley, Sedgwick, Wabaunsee, and Wyandotte
The Flint Hills region of Kansas is the largest tract of unplowed tallgrass prairie in North America and one of the few large areas of native prairie remaining in the United States. Range management practices used throughout the region dictate that fire be used as a tool to prevent intrusion of weeds and woody plants into the stand of prairie grass present, as well as a means to improve the productivity of the rangeland for ranching practices. For the benefits of fire as a rangeland management tool to be realized, burning must be initiated at the proper time. Burning of the tallgrass prairie generally occurs in early to mid April. With the majority of prescribed burning activities occurring during this time period, a large amount of particulate matter and ozone precursors are released into the air during a relatively short time period.
In past years during the burning season, Kansas Ambient Air Monitoring Network monitors have recorded elevated concentrations of both PM10 and ozone as well as other pollutants downwind of the Flint Hills region. This has led to an increased interest in the air quality, not only in Kansas, but throughout the United States during the time frame in which the majority of prescribed burning activities occur.
The state of Kansas, with the assistance of many stakeholders, developed a smoke management plan to address air quality concerns caused by the annual burning of the tallgrass prairie in the Flint Hills of Kansas.
Concerns about the impacts of burning in the Flint Hills region on air quality prompted the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to organize the Kansas Flint Hills Smoke Management Advisory Committee. The Committee began the process of developing a Flint Hills Smoke Management Plan through a series of meetings in 2010. KDHE reached out to a diverse group of stakeholders to observe these meetings and provide access to information about this issue. This group of diverse interests included livestock producers and ranchers, local governments, conservation and agribusiness organizations, Kansas State University, fire protection agencies and other interested parties.
Wichita Meeting December 16, 2010
Emporia Meeting November 15, 2010
Emporia Meeting August 17, 2010
Emporia August 2010 Meeting Presentation
Newton Meeting April 9, 2010
April 8-11, 2010 Air Quality Event