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KDHE Issues Health Advisory, Safety Tips For The Flint Hills Burning Season

flint_hills_fire.jpg
Patrick Emerson, flickr Creative Commons
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The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued safety tips and a smoke modeling tool for this seasons controlled burns in the Flint Hills.

Controlled or prescribed burns in the Flint Hills are used every year to clear out invasive species, cut down the probabilities of wildfires and encourage the Tallgrass prairie to thrive.

Over 2.3 million acres are burned in Kansas and Oklahoma yearly.

But where there is fire, there is smoke. Particulate from the burns can form ozone and pollution can travel distances. KDHE is launching a smoke modeling tool app on March 1, which will allow landowners to spread out their burns and allow people to track smoke.

KDHE suggests that, when smoke is in your area, restrict outdoor exercise. It is also recommended that people with respiratory or heart illnesses should stay indoors with the windows closed.

Unlike most of the Great Plains land, the Flint Hills were not plowed and planted historically because of their rocky surfaces. That makes the area one of the last expanses of the tallgrass prairie in the nation.

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Aileen LeBlanc is news director at KMUW. Follow her on Twitter @Aileen_LeBlanc.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.