Kansas imposes burn ban for 16 counties for the month of April
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - 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.
The burn ban is imposed in 16 Kansas counties through the 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.
The following counties are included in the ban: Butler, Chase, Chautauqua, Cowley, Elk, Geary, Greenwood, Johnson, Lyon, Marion, Morris, Pottawatomie, Riley, Sedgwick, Wabaunsee and Wyandotte.
Effective April 1, no new burn permits will be issued and all previously issued burn permits will be suspended until at least May 1, 2019. Live fire training will also be suspended during this time.
The City of Wichita said the fire department will be enforcing the ban.
"Ensuring Wichita does what we can to stay in compliance with national ozone standards is crucial,” said Public Works and Utilities Director Alan King. “Flint Hills agricultural burning can cause Wichita air to be at risk of exceeding those standards, which can not only be unhealthy for residents, but result in hefty fines.”
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.
These exceedances could cause the region to go out of attainment and violate regulations set by the Environmental Protection Agency. 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.