The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department of Agriculture are asking all land owners and managers to voluntarily reduce prescribed burning this season.
“With the potential for this pandemic overwhelming the state’s medical facilities, any additional respiratory concerns that could be produced from breathing smoke from prescribed fire need to be mitigated,” Dr. Lee Norman, KDHE Secretary, said in a news release.
Smoke from prescribed burning can lead to burning eyes, runny nose, coughing and illnesses such as bronchitis. Those who have respiratory issues like asthma, existing heart or lung diseases, children and the elderly and those who may be resting at home with Covid-19 are especially vulnerable.
There is also the danger of prescribed fires getting out of control further taxing fire departments and EMS teams.