As the prescribed burning season gets into full swing, landowners and managers are encouraged to help spread out the timing of burns by using web-based tools on Interactive smoke models on this website are designed to help Flint Hills ranchers voluntarily mitigate air quality problems in downwind communities with larger populations. This and other steps included in the Flint Hills Smoke Management Plan are intended to help the ranching community avoid more strict regulation in the future.
     There are two smoke forecast models available. The Cumulative Fire Impact map shows the predicted potential smoke contributions from each county to air quality in urban areas. It is based on the assumption that multiple fires will be occurring simultaneously across the Flint Hills.
     The second model shows the direction and extent of the predicted plume from a single burn. Users select a county where the burn is located, provide the number of acres to be burned and estimate the fuel load. An animated display shows movement of the smoke plume over the next 48 hours.
     A discussion of weather conditions also is available. This allows ranchers to evaluate whether better days for burning lie ahead.  


KLA Vice President of Communications Todd Domer says a number of bills that potentially would increase taxes on farmers and ranchers are still in play as the April 3rd first adjournment approaches.