Range fires can cause health problems

Health officials have issued a warning about breathing particulate matter and ozone when Flint Hills rangeland is burned this spring.

Although controlled burning helps manage the land, improve forage, control invasive plants, and minimize fire danger, pollutants can cause burning eyes, runny noses, coughing, and bronchitis.

People with heart or lung disease, children, and the elderly are most susceptible, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Safety tips during periods when smoke does not dissipate include:

  • Curtailing strenuous outdoor exercise
  • Remaining indoors
  • Closing doors and windows and running air conditioners on “recirculate” settings
  • Keeping airways moist by drinking lots of water

More information is available at http://www.ksfire.org.

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