Prescribed fire plans often address smoke and air quality concerns. Burn bosses plan for their preferred wind to avoid sensitive populations like schools and hospitals. Kansas smoke management recommendations provide decision support tools to help burners know what their contribution to air quality might be on a target spring day. Oklahoma recently instituted another tool to help burners avoid critical air quality levels. A new ozone burn ban was enacted in 2013. On days when ozone alters have been issued for the areas around Oklahoma City and Tulsa, open burning is prohibited. Luckily, most people probably won’t be too interested in burning during that kind of hot steamy weather pattern.
The Oklahoma Forestry Service maintains a web page listing current Oklahoma Burn Bans. For more on the Kansas smoke management efforts, watch our videos on Fire in the Flint Hills and visit the Kansas Flint Hills Smoke Management website to learn how some ignition techniques can reduce smoke output.