Wichita under ozone alert

This photo shows haze over Wichita. (KSN File Photo)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The city of Wichita announced an ozone alert has been issued for Tuesday due to burns in the Flint Hills.

“The prescribed burns that are occurring in the Flint Hills produce particulate matter and elements that contribute to ozone formation,” said Baylee Cunningham, Air Quality Specialist for the City of Wichita. “So as that smoke rolls into the city tomorrow, we expect to see ozone levels elevate.”

As a result, residents and businesses are asked to take steps to reduce the emissions that create ozone. It includes the following:

  • Refuel when it’s cool (after 6 p.m. or after dark);
  • Walk or ride your bike to work;
  • Delay mowing;
  • Stop fueling at the sound of the click;
  • Take your lunch to work to avoid driving during the hottest part of the day;
  • Turn off your car or don’t idle more than 30 seconds;
  • Postpone errands; and
  • Delay painting projects.

The city said stricter federal regulations may occur if ozone levels exceed set limits.

“We could see a specific gasoline that our region has to use so a reformulated gas to lower emissions. That gas could cost more to the citizens in the community, 10 to 15 cents more,” added Cunningham.

Also high ozone levels can pose dangers for people with respiratory disease. Those suffering are urged to stay inside.

The community will be advised of conditions through the City of Wichita Facebook page, the City’s website or on Twitter @BeAirAwareKS.

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