MTAA continues controlled burn Wednesday at Topeka Regional Airport

If you see smoke coming from South Topeka Tuesday, don’t be alarmed.
Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 9:03 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - If you see smoke coming from South Topeka, don’t be alarmed.

The Metropolitan Topeka Airport Authority conducted a controlled burn at Topeka Regional Airport. It was delayed a few hours from its expected 9 a.m. start time at Forbes Field.

MTAA fire officials say they do the burns to get rid of vegetation, which can mitigate the numbers of wildlife living and eating around the airfield. Those animals, such as deer and coyote, can pose a risk to aircraft if they get onto the grounds.

”With those types of wildlife, or any wildlife get in the perimeter of the airfield it just causes a danger for taxing aircraft, departing aircraft and approaching aircraft,” MTAA Fire Chief Bill Wempe explained. “We like to keep the areas where they can go and feed, and live and sleep out from the airfield and outside our perimeter.”

The MTAA conducted a similar controlled burn last October as well as one in January 2022.

Officials said they would continue the burn on Wednesday.