Flint Hills Smoke Management Plan Development

Map of Kansas, showing the area of the Flint Hills superimposed over the topThe 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 inhalable particles that are generally 10 micrometers and smaller in diameter (PM-10) 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.

  1. Flint Hills Smoke Management Plan
  2. Meetings
  3. Monitoring Data & Analysis
  4. Guides & Technical Documents

Kansas Flint Hills Smoke Management Plan

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.

April Burn Restrictions

View the April Burn Restrictions (PDF). Affected counties include:

  • Butler
  • Chase
  • Chautauqua
  • Cowley
  • Elk
  • Geary
  • Greenwood
  • Johnson
  • Lyon
  • Marion
  • Morris
  • Pottawatomie
  • Riley
  • Sedgwick
  • Wabaunsee
  • Wyandotte