The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) reminds Kansans that March and April are the months when large areas of the state’s Flint Hills rangeland are burned. These burns help preserve the tallgrass prairie, control invasive species, reduce woody encroachment from species such as Eastern Red Cedar and Sumac and provide better forage for cattle. Prescribed burning minimizes risk of wildfires and is effective in managing rangeland resources. Smoke from the burns can influence the air quality of downwind areas. The use of smoke management techniques is vital to reduce air quality and health impacts. KDHE will activate the Kansas smoke modeling tool on March 1, prior to widespread burning in the Flint Hills. The computer models use fire data and current weather conditions to predict the potential contribution of smoke to downwind air quality problems. There are approximately 2.2 million acres burned on average in the Flint Hills of Kansas and Oklahoma each year.