Welcome to the Kansas Fire Modeling Page

The Flint Hills Smoke Management Plan encourages land managers to use model predictions in making the final decision to burn. Models have been developed specifically for use with the Smoke Management Plan. These models predict the potential contribution to urban area air quality problems. They do not provide information about whether conditions are safe to conduct a burn. Where required by local ordinance, check with your local public safety official regarding fire safety questions.

Cumulative Fire Impact

Two forecast models have been developed. The Cumulative Fire Impact map is generated by the first model. The map shows the predicted potential contributions of smoke from each county to air quality in urban areas. This information is based on the assumption that multiple fires will be occurring simultaneously across the Flint Hills. The model uses emission rates from burn days in prior years when air quality in downwind cities exceeded air quality standards. These data, coupled with currently predicted weather conditions, provide an overall look at air quality impacts for a two-day period. A map is generated for each day, with each county colored to represent the predicted contribution of fires in that county to air quality in monitored areas of Kansas and Nebraska:

Color Potential Contribution
Green Fires in the county are expected to have a small contribution
Yellow Fires in the county are expected to have a medium contribution. Air quality from fires may be impacted.
Red Fires in the county are expected to have a large contribution. Air quality from fires may be significantly impacted. Please consider postponing burning to a later date.
White The county is not included in the model

Your Fire Impacts

A second model (available under the Your Fire Impacts tab) shows the direction and extent of the predicted plume from a single burn. To use this model, select the county in which the burn is located, the number of acres to be burned, and the estimated fuel load (light, average, or heavy). An animated map displays the smoke plume and its movement over the following 48 hours. You can review the plume movement to determine whether it impacts downwind monitored areas. The animated plume only shows the impacts of the local fire, not those of neighboring regions.

Forecast Discussion

A discussion of weather conditions is also provided so you can further evaluate whether better days for burning lie ahead. When planning a prescribed burn it is important to consider the smoke plume models, local weather conditions, and factors that contribute to burning safely. Developing an effective burn plan will ensure that all relevant components are considered prior to burning.

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