For more information,
contact NDEE's Public Information Office, (402) 471-4223, (402) 471-4243 or (402) 471-4245

Updates of Controlled Burns

As part of its Smoke Management Plan, the State of Kansas evaluates how the impact of burning could affect populated areas, including in Nebraska. Typically, optimal burn conditions occur from March until mid-April. During the burn season, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment provides regular updated forecasts, which are provided below: (To view daily updated forecasts from the Flint Hills Smoke Management Association, go to their Smoke Model forecast.)*

Kansas Smoke Forecast Outlook
Issued March 2, 2018
Outlook Overview
Fire: A few early season fires may occur today (March 2) across the Flint Hills, however wind speeds are expected to increase this afternoon and will limit any significant burning. Wind speeds will remain gusty, with gusts exceeding 25 mph, Saturday through Tuesday as a storm system passes through the region. Wind direction will be southerly Friday, Saturday, and into Sunday; then switch to the west and northwest for Monday and Tuesday. A good chance of rain also exists late Sunday into early Monday. The aforementioned conditions will likely provide limited burning opportunities for the Saturday-Monday (March 3-5) timeframe.
Smoke: Moderate to strong surface winds, and strong transport winds will aid in distributing smoke rather quickly throughout the forecast period. This should keep any air quality issues confined to areas in close proximity to fires. Overall anticipate minimal burning due to the early season and increased wind speeds, and thus only minor impacts to air quality.

Air Quality Outlook

Forecast Comments
Flint Hills
Elevated values possible near fires
Elevated values possible near fires
Elevated values possible near fires
Kansas City



Des Moines


Oklahoma City


Issued by Jayson Prentice, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Bureau of Air

Air Quality Index (AQI)
Actions to Protect Your Health
Unusually sensitive groups consider limiting prolonged/heavy exertion.
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (USG)
Sensitive groups should reduce prolonged/heavy outdoor exertion.
Sensitive groups should avoid all physical outdoor activity.
Very Unhealthy
Everyone should avoid prolonged/heavy exertion.
Everyone should avoid all outdoor activity.

Smoke outlooks consider only air quality issues derived from prescribed fires and/or wildfires. Additional natural conditions (i.e. dust) may contribute to elevated Air Quality Index (AQI) values.

(To view daily updated forecasts from the Flint Hills Smoke Management Association, go to their Smoke Model forecast.)*

Smoke Awareness in Nebraska: For more information about burning activities in Flint Hills and their potential impacts in Nebraska, visit NDEQ’s main Smoke Awareness Page

AirNow: For current conditions of Nebraska’s Air Quality and tomorrow’s forecast, go to NDEQ’s link to federal AirNow web site: AirNow – Conditions and Forecast*

Flint Hills Smoke Management Plan: For more detailed information about the Flint Hills Smoke Management Plan, go to www.ksfire.org. *

Daily Updates: To view daily updated maps and forecasts in the Flint Hills region, select Access Smoke Model.*

Facebook Connection: Frequent updates can also be found at the KS Flint Hills Smoke Management Facebook page, located at https://www.facebook.com/ksfire *

Kansas Archives: To view an archive of press releases and outreach regarding Flint Hills burning in Kansas, visit: http://www.ksfire.org/new-media-archives/index.html. *

* This document contains links to non-NDEQ websites; these links will open in a new tab or window.