Smoky conditions on Tuesday

Controlled grass burning made for a smoky day in and around Augusta and other parts of the county on Tuesday.  
“The burnings on Tuesday were controlled  burns outside our fire district,” explained Lt. Tim Follis with the Augusta Department of Safety Fire Division, “A lot of people called in because of all the smoke.”
The annual springtime ritual of burning helps sustain the rich grasslands for the region’s cattle herds.  The annual pasture burning only occurs a few days each year.  Not every cattleman burns his pastures every year; instead, individual ranchers and landowner survey and decide each spring, which pastures will produce a healthier lush grass for livestock after burning. Often neighbors plan and burn together, giving them more help to ensure a safe, controlled burn.
Kansas State University experts advise that the burning is the easiest and most effective method of controlling the eastern red cedar.
Recommended burning should take place when wind speeds are between 5 and 15 mph, relative humidity is from 40 to 70 percent and temperatures are 55 to 80 degrees.