Smoke Emissions

In many regions across the globe, including the United States, wildland fires are a significant source of air pollution and can be a major hazard to public health. Globally, it has been estimated that exposure to wildfire smoke results in over 300,000 premature deaths annually. In addition to public health, the threat posed to wildland firefighters who may be exposed to dense smoke is an unresolved issue. Smoke management concerns are among the top impediments to prescribed burning. Prescribed fires can subject local communities to unhealthy pollutant levels. Additionally, smoke produced by prescribed fire can trigger violations of state and federal air quality standards.

Wildland fires are major sources of the greenhouse gases CH4 and CO2 and carbonaceous particles. The particles produced by wildland fires have a signifcant impact on the climate system by absorbing and scattering radiation and affecting cloud properties. Understanding the response of wildland fire emissions to climate variability and changing landscapes is crucial to assessing future air pollution and potential climate feedbacks.

Projects in Smoke Emissions

Displaying 1 - 13 of 13
An Evaluation of Wildland Fire Smoke Sensors
2017-2025
Wildland fires produce significant air pollution and real-time measurements of these pollutants are critical for mitigating the human health impacts of smoke. With climate change increasing the severity of the western U.S. wildfire season, there is an urgent need for new air pollution measurement technologies to reduce coverage gaps in existing…
ArcFuels
2005-present
Vegetation and fuel management planning is a complex problem that requires advanced vegetation and fire behavior modeling and intensive spatial data analyses. Both the benefits and potential impacts of proposed treatments must be clearly demonstrated in the context of land management goals and public expectations. Potential fire behavior metrics,…
Black Carbon from Fires in Northern Eurasia
2002-Present
Northern Eurasia covers 20% of the global land mass and contains 70% of the boreal forest. During certain times of the year, black carbon (BC) in smoke plumes at high latitudes may be transported and deposited on Arctic ice, thereby accelerating ice melting. It is thus imperative to better understand daily sources, transport, and deposition of BC…
FastFuels: 3D Fuels for Next Generation Fire Models
2020-present
Advanced 3D fire models offer new possibilities for detailed analysis of fuel treatments and prescribed fires. However, the spatially explicit, detailed 3D fuels data they require is difficult to get, particularly for large areas. FastFuels opens the door to this kind of modeling by combining existing fuels and spatial data with cutting edge…
Fire Lab Seminar Series
The Seminar Series runs from Fall to Spring
The Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory has been hosting an annual seminar series since 1998. Hour-long seminars are presented by Fire Lab employees and other researchers from throughout the world. Seminars cover current research and management about the natural world from a broad range of disciplines, but most seminars usually have a wildland fire…
FOFEM - fire effects model
1995- present
FOFEM (a First Order Fire Effects Model) is a computer program for predicting tree mortality, fuel consumption, smoke production, and soil heating caused by prescribed fire or wildfire. First order fire effects are those that concern the direct or indirect or immediate consequences of fire. First order fire effects form an important basis for…
Mapping and modeling fuels and fire at the Sycan Marsh, Oregon
2017 - present
The research being performed through multidisciplinary collaboration efforts at TNC’s Sycan Marsh Preserve in Oregon is providing much needed data for fuel mapping efforts by linking surface fuel datasets with TLS and UAS data pre, during, and post-fire. It also provides essential data for fire mapping and behavioral understanding of forest and…
Missoula Fire Lab Wildfire Emission Inventory
2013-present
Wildfires are a major source of air pollutants in the United States. Wildfire smoke can trigger severe pollution episodes with substantial impacts on public health. In addition to acute episodes, wildfires can have a marginal effect on air quality at significant distances from the source presenting significant challenges to air regulators’ efforts…
New & Improved 7-Day Wildland Fire Outlook
2017-present
RMC is developing a system of statistical weather-based models for forecasting wildland fire potential & fire risk out to 7-10 days on a uniform national grid. The development of this gridded system of predictive equations has been planned to proceed in 4 phases with R&D tasks being executed under a Joint Venture Agreement with Colorado…
RxCadre Project
2012-present
Obtaining Integrated, Quality-assured Fuels, Fire, and Atmospheric Data for Development and Evaluation of Fuels, Fire Behavior, Smoke, and Fire Effects Models The lack of co-located, multi-scale measures of pre-fire fuels, active fire processes, and post-fire effects hinders our ability to tackle fundamental fire science questions. The lack of…
SERDP RC20-Closing Gaps
2020-present
This project responds to the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP)’s FY 2020 Statement of Need: “DoD WILDLAND FIRE MANAGEMENT RESEARCH FOR IMPROVED MILITARY LAND USE”, for which the overarching objective was “to improve understanding of self-organization of convective structures and near-fire smoke plume development for…
State of the Science on Wildland Fire Emissions
2019-present
Wildland fires are a major source of pollutants resulting in both air quality impacts and climate interactions. Wildland fire smoke can trigger severe pollution episodes with substantial effects on public health and fire emissions can degrade air quality at considerable distances downwind, hampering efforts by air regulators to meet air standards…
Wildland Fire Investment Planning System (WFIPS)
2016-Present
Purpose: The WFIPS system is intended to conduct risk-based analysis of fire management activities and wildfire outcomes for alternative investments in Preparedness, Hazardous Fuels, and Large Fire Suppression. Analysis occurs at user-specified scales from local (i.e. District, National Forests) to Regional and National for all lands and all…