An air quality advisory was issued Friday for parts of the Flint Hills, including the Manhattan area.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment says its Kansas smoke modeling tool has predicted conditions will worsen because of existing smoke combined with weather inversion patterns starting at 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. with a brief reprieve possible between noon and 5 p.m. that may continue for several days.
Individuals are encouraged to limit or avoid strenuous outdoor exercise, help keep indoor air clean by closing doors and windows and running air conditioners with air filters, and stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
Prescribed burns release large amounts of particulate matter and other pollutants that can form ozone, leading to burning eyes, runny nose, coughing and bronchitis.
The advisory impacts areas between Topeka, Manhattan and Salina and areas north toward Nebraska.
KDHE reminds Kansans that March and April are when large areas of the state’s rangelands are burned, especially within the Flint Hills. These burns help preserve the tallgrass prairie ecosystem, control invasive species, reduce woody encroachment from species such as Eastern Red Cedar, and provide better forage for cattle. Prescribed burning also reduces the risk of wildfires and effectively manages rangeland resources. Smoke from the burns can influence the air quality of downwind areas.
KDHE says once human health impacts are reduced, it will rescind the advisory.