Current prescribed burning in Kansas and Oklahoma for the management of prairie and rangelands may affect the air quality in Nebraska. Therefore, both states monitor smoke levels and wind directions to let Nebraska know when impacts to the state’s air quality may occur. Smoke advisories are issued for impacted areas by notifying the media and local health departments, and posting information on the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy’s (NDEE) webpages and social sites. Advisories help citizens protect their health by alerting them to days where outdoor activities should be reduced or avoided to minimize exposure to smoke.
Advisories are based on data provided by the state of Kansas, smoke plume modeling, and from air quality monitors that are located in Lincoln and Omaha.
An advisory of possible moderate impacts may occur in southeast Nebraska, potentially affecting Omaha and Lincoln, from late afternoon of April 18 through the morning of April 19. During moderate conditions, unusually sensitive groups should consider limiting prolonged outdoor exertion. There is also the potential of brief periods of air quality rising to the orange category, unhealthy for sensitive groups.
The following Air Quality Index (AQI) is used. This AQI is used nationally. For an hourly update on air quality across Nebraska visit https://www.airnow.gov.
For more information on smoke awareness, visit NDEE’s website at http://deq.ne.gov/NDEQProg.nsf/OnWeb/AirSA .
For more information on burn activity and a smoke outlook, visit NDEE’s website at http://deq.ne.gov/Press.nsf/pages/AirSA-2.
View seasonal news release for information on the Flint Hills burns – http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Smoke-Advisory-System-Activated-for-Flint-Hills-Burns.aspx