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Kansas Flint Hills Smoke Management


Weather Conditions for Prescribed Burning

Poor VentilationGood VentilationFew factors are as important as weather when conducting a prescribed burn. Weather affects the speed and direction of the fire, the intensity with which fuels burn, the predictability of fire movement, and smoke dispersion. Correct weather conditions are critical to conducting a safe burn with minimal chances of fire escape and crew injury.

Ideal Prescribed Burning Weather Conditions:

  • Wind speed: 5-12 mph
  • Wind direction: steady, away from sensitive areas
  • Mixing height: 1800 ft. or higher
  • Transport wind speed: 8-20 mph throughout the mixing height
  • Relative humidity: 40-70%; no less than 30%
  • 30-55% for optimal smoke management
  • Temperature: 55°-80° F, ± 5°
    • Lower temperatures are associated with less ozone formation
  • Cloud cover: clear to 70% cover
  • 30-50% cloud cover in both the smoke generating areas and the urban areas of concern are optimal for smoke management