City of Wichita officials want to remind residents that open burning in certain areas of the state, including Wichita, is restricted during the month of April.
This burn ban is imposed in 16 counties by the State of Kansas through the entire month of April. Restricted activities include burning trees and brush from land clearing, crop residues, construction debris, yard waste, and the use of backyard chimineas and fire pits.
To comply with the regulations, the Wichita Fire Department (WFD) will enforce an open burning ban during April. Effective April 1, no new burn permits will be issued and all previously issued burn permits will be suspended until at least May 1, 2020. Live fire training will also be suspended during this time.
This ban does not include outdoor cooking apparatuses, ceremonial fires, or open burning for the purpose of crop, range, pasture, and wildlife or watershed management in accordance with K.A.R. 28-19-648.
The state regulations were implemented in response to the Kansas Flint Hills Smoke Management Plan. This plan was implemented to address concerns that smoke from Flint Hills agricultural burning during April impacts urban areas by significantly increasing ozone levels, specifically in the Wichita and Kansas City areas.
“Ozone is the number one air quality challenge for the City of Wichita,” said Public Works & Utilities Director Alan King. “In past years, Wichita has experienced events of extremely high levels of ozone due to Flint Hills burning that caused exceedances of the national ozone standard.”
These exceedances could cause the region to go out of attainment and violate regulations set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A “nonattainment” designation could cost businesses and residents millions of dollars due to increased regulations. In addition to financial impacts, high ozone levels can present risks to public health.
The City urges residents to do their part to Be Air Aware and reduce ozone by participating in the April Burn Ban.
Questions should be directed to the Environmental Management Analyst, Alejandro Arias-Esparza at (316) 268-4413 or via email at
email@example.com or the Community Risk Reduction Division at (316) 268-4441. For more information on Wichita’s air quality, visit BeAirAwareKS.org, wichita.gov, Cox Cable Channel 7 or follow BeAirAwareKS on Instagram for weekly forecasts and updates.