“When comparing how smoke from wildfires and prescribed burns affected children, “we saw worse effects from the wildfire,” says Dr. Mary Prunicki, who directs air pollution and health research at the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University. In a study published in the journal Allergy in 2019, her team found that children who lived near where a wildfire occurred suffered more severe respiratory and immune effects than those who lived near a prescribed burn.”Continue Reading
USFS Webinar “Know Your Smoke”
Wednesday, November 18 @10 – 11am MT
Presented by Shawn Urbanski, Research Physical Scientist and Duncan Lutes, RMRS Fire Ecologist
In this short webinar, RMRS Research Physical Scientist Shawn Urbanski and Fire Ecologist Duncan Lutes will discuss the current state of the science on wildland fire smoke emissions, including pollutants present in smoke, methods for quantifying emission flux, existing datasets, tools, and models, and deficiencies in current scientific understanding. For more information on this project, see this USFS-RMRS “Science You Can Use” bulletin.
Meeting ID: 161 0453 0612
Or connect with your phone: 1-669-254-5252 US (San Jose)
1-646-828-7666 US (New York)Continue Reading
Host: EPA Office of Research and Development
Presenter: Wayne E. Cascio, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Public Health and Environmental Assessment, EPA Office of Research and Development
Over the past 50 years to meet its mission of protecting human health and the environment, EPA has worked to ensure that all Americans have access to clean air, land and water. Environmental law, policy and science have afforded the U.S. improved environmental quality across all media with attendant benefits to human health. Advances in clinical and population-based research methods, engineering, technology and medicine have increased our knowledge of air pollution and its constituents, the way the pollution is generated and moves in the atmosphere, as well as the impacts this pollution has on human health and ecosystems. Air research conducted and funded by EPA’s Office of Research and Development has contributed substantially over the past 50 years to establishing the Clean Air Act’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Research has linked regulated air pollutants such as ozone and particulate matter (PM) to lung and heart disease and other health problems. This research is in-part responsible for increasing the average life expectancy of Americans by approximately five to eight months according to findings from a 2009 EPA-supported study. This webinar will discuss the parallel progress of EPA science, the evolution of the technology used for studying air quality and health, and our understanding of heart disease, improvement in air quality and human health.
Registration Required: https://epawebconferencing.acms.com/tools_august2020/event/registration.htmlContinue Reading
The CDC has released a new resource with guidance on public health strategies for minimizing wildfire smoke impacts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics discussed include creating safe spaces indoors, considerations for face masks, and planning for wildfire and extreme heat. The new guide “Public Health Strategies to Reduce Exposure to Wildfire Smoke during the COVID-19 Pandemic” should also be used with the CDC “Wildfire Smoke and COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions and Resources for Air Resource Advisors and Other Environmental Health Professionals” guide.Continue Reading
The Simple Smoke Screening Tool is back! The Southern Fire Exchange previously hosted this tool on our website but we lost the ability to run it following our website migration in March 2020. Thanks to the Florida Forest Service, this easy to use smoke plotting tool has a new home and host on the Florida Forest Service “Fire Tools and Downloads” webpage. The Florida Forest Service is hosting this tool as a resource for prescribed burners across the U.S. so be sure to join us in sharing your appreciation!
Simple Smoke Screening Tool is an easy to use online tool for plotting a potential smoke impact area using a set of basic input parameters (location, area burned, wind direction, fuel type and ignition method). The Simple Smoke Screening Tool is similar to the manual protractor method for screening smoke impacts. The Simple Smoke Screening Tool was originally developed by the Southern High Resolution Modeling Consortium and hosted by Southern Regional Extension Forestry at the University of Georgia. Around 2015 it was upgraded to include a .kml output and hosted by the Southern Fire Exchange. Starting in July 2020 it has been hosted by the Florida Forest Service.Continue Reading
Host: US EPA Air and Energy Research Program
Presenters: Dr. Wayne Cascio, director of EPA’s Center for Public Health and Environmental Assessment (CPHEA), Dr. Ana Rappold, CPHEA statistician, and Dr. Cavin Ward-Caviness, CPHEA computational biologist.
Abstract: EPA’s Office of Research and Development, Air and Energy National Research Program is working to assess the impact and improve our understanding of air pollution morbidity and mortality in vulnerable populations, including individuals with cardiovascular disease. Exposure to airborne fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is associated with adverse cardiovascular health events including heart attacks, stroke, and death―particularly among those with pre-existing conditions. However, a better understanding of the relationship between air pollution and cardiovascular health is needed to develop strategies to protect vulnerable people with heart and vascular disease.
This webinar provides an overview of newly published research by EPA scientists and their colleagues that helps fill key knowledge gaps. The findings, published in leading scientific journals, offer new insights into the progress made to protect at-risk individuals with chronic health problems. The research also identifies remaining environmental health challenges, such as determining risks faced from sustained exposure to elevated PM2.5 from wildfire smoke, which is being observed due to more frequent and larger wildland fires in the United States.
Additional information about the webinar can be found here.Continue Reading
Two interesting US EPA research webinars will take place Wednesday, May 20th and Thursday, May 28th presenting new research on smoke data visualization and the health effects of smoke / PM2.5 . Members of the fire management and fire research communities of the Southeast may be particularly interested in these two webinars given the importance of smoke management for Southeastern prescribed fire programs.
EPA Tools and Resources Webinar: Wildland Fire Community Engagement and Data Visualization Tools
Wednesday 05/20/2020 3:00PM to 4:00PM EDT
“This presentation will highlight two wildland fire smoke and health projects. Smoke Sense is a crowdsourcing, citizen science app which engages the public to broaden awareness of wildland fire smoke locally as well as health protective measures and behaviors. This presentation will share findings from the past two wildfire seasons including community engagement and data visualization tools. The Smoke Ready Communities project offers a model and framework to help communities improve their response. It supports collaboration and capacity building and also fosters preparedness and response to wildfire smoke episodes. This presentation will share a solutions-driven approach for helping reduce the public health burden of smoke intrusion at the community level. Participants will learn about how these projects can integrate a community capacity lens with resources specifically related to wildland fire smoke, air quality and health.”
Air Quality and Healthy Hearts: Progress and Remaining Challenges Webinar
Thursday 05/28/2020 2:00PM to 3:30PM EDT
“This webinar provides an overview of newly published research by EPA scientists and their colleagues that helps fill key knowledge gaps. The findings, published in leading scientific journals, offer new insights into the progress made to protect at-risk individuals with chronic health problems. The research also identifies remaining environmental health challenges, such as determining risks faced from sustained exposure to elevated PM2.5 from wildfire smoke, which is being observed due to more frequent and larger wildland fires in the United States.”
Additional information about this webinar can be found here.Continue Reading
The NEW SFE PB-Piedmont fact sheet (pdf) is out! PB-Piedmont is is a web browser-based tool for modeling nighttime and early morning smoke movement in the Piedmont region of the South. PB-Piedmont is useful for predicting where smoke and fog may accumulate at night to assess the potential for impacting roadways or smoke sensitive areas. Validation tests have shown that PB-Piedmont also works in other regions with less significant topographic relief. Check out the new fact sheet and then go try out the model yourself.