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DHHS/NDEE Issue Smoke Advisory for Southeast and South Central Nebraska

Issued: evening of April 10 through April 11

Affected Area: Southeast and South Central Nebraska

Air Quality Index: Moderate to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

Potential Air Quality Impacts from Prescribed Burning in the Kansas and Oklahoma Flint Hills

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 Nebraska’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 Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (orange category) impacts may occur in southeast Nebraska, potentially affecting Beatrice, Lincoln and Omaha, the evening of April 10 through the morning of April 11.  An advisory of Moderate (yellow category) impacts may continue in southeast Nebraska through the day Saturday, but conditions should move back to the green category, (no impacts), before Easter morning, April 12.  Possible Moderate (yellow category) impacts may also occur in South Central Nebraska, including Grand Island and Hastings, through the day on Saturday, April 11. It is also possible that moderate levels of smoke may travel further north on Saturday, possibly as far north as Norfolk.  During yellow category/moderate conditions, unusually sensitive groups should consider limiting prolonged outdoor exertion.  When conditions rise to the orange category, sensitive groups are advised to reduce prolonged outdoor exertion.

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.

Air Quality Index

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

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