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Information Related to Controlled Burning and Wildfires that Can Impact Nebraska’s Air Quality




The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy and Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, in conjunction with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Department of Health, the Douglas County Health Department and support from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment is providing the latest forecasts and information regarding the impact prescribed fires and wildfires have on air quality. There are a multitude of variables that factor into any prediction: the weather, the number of acres being burned and the fuel load on those acres, to name a few. Information will be provided on the DHHS website when it appears air quality may be compromised. Additional information can be found at the Flint Hills Smoke Management Association web page Smoke Model forecast.*

On April 10, 2018, Nebraska DHHS announced a public smoke advisory system which was developed in coordination with NDEE, Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department and Douglas County Health Department. In each subsequent year, DHHS has issued news releases about the activation of the system: "DHHS Activates Smoke Advisory System for Flint Hills Burns." *

Updated advisories will be posted on this web page through the 2021 burn season.

AirNow: For current conditions of Nebraska’s Air Quality and tomorrow’s forecast, go to NDEE’s link to federal AirNow web site pages:


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Smoke Outlook
(This information was last updated August 10, 2021.)

August 10, 2021 - An advisory of possible Moderate (yellow category) to Unhealthy For Sensitive Groups (orange category) impacts may occur in western Nebraska beginning August 10 through August 12. Intermittent Unhealthy (red category) impacts in certain areas are also possible.

August 3, 2021 - An advisory of possible Moderate (yellow category) to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (orange category) impacts may occur statewide in Nebraska beginning August 3 through August 4. Intermittent Unhealthy (red category) impacts in certain areas are also possible. Impacts may continue at the Moderate AQI level through the weekend.

July 29, 2021 - An advisory of possible Moderate (yellow category) to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (orange category) impacts may occur statewide in Nebraska beginning July 29 through August 1. Intermittent Unhealthy (red category) impacts in certain areas are also possible.

April 1, 2021 - An advisory of possible Moderate (yellow category) impacts may occur in Webster, Nuckolls, Thayer, Jefferson and Gage Counties in Nebraska starting at 2 p.m. today.

March 26, 2021 - An advisory of possible Moderate (yellow category) impacts may occur in eastern Nebraska from March 28 at 8 p.m. through March 29 at 10 a.m, which may affect Lincoln, Omaha, Beatrice and surrounding areas, especially to the south. Intermittent Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (orange category) impacts in certain areas are also possible.

March 19, 2021 - An advisory of possible Moderate (yellow category) impacts may occur in southeast and south central Nebraska from March 19 at 7 p.m. through March 20 at 10 a.m., which may affect York, Lincoln, Beatrice, Omaha, Columbus and surrounding areas. Intermittent Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (orange category) impacts in some areas are also possible.


Daily and Weekly Updates: To view daily updated maps and forecasts in the Flint Hills region, select Access Smoke Model.* The Kansas Flint Hills Smoke Management website also provides summary updates that are posted weekly through the prescribed burn season. Click here to view Weekly Updates from Kansas Flint Hills Smoke Management. *

Smoke Awareness in Nebraska: For more information about burning activities in Flint Hills and their potential impacts in Nebraska, visit NDEE’s main Smoke Awareness Page

Flint Hills Smoke Management Plan: For more detailed information about the Flint Hills Smoke Management Plan, go to www.ksfire.org. *

Facebook Connection: Frequent updates can also be found at the KS Flint Hills Smoke Management Facebook page. NDEE also posts frequent air quality updates on its Facebook and Twitter pages during prescribed burning season. *

* This document contains links to non-NDEE websites; these links will open in a new tab or window.