Smoke was already an important issue in wildland fire, but this summer is driving home the point even more across the eastern US. Whether it’s the western US and Canadian wildfire smoke or smoke from more local prescribed fires, what are the messages we should be communicating? What are the tools that can help us assess impacts? Attend this session to hear about the latest and greatest regarding smoke.Continue Reading
Join the EPA on October 26 as we announce the winners of the Cleaner Indoor Air During Wildfires Challenge. Winners will share their innovative designs for low-cost solutions that quietly and safely reduce indoor fine particulate matter (PM2.5) during periods when outdoor PM2.5 concentrations are high.
EPA and its federal, state, local and tribal partners held a Challenge competition to encourage the development of detailed plans for novel, effective, low-cost technologies to reduce indoor PM2.5 concentrations and protect public health during wildfire smoke events.
Exposure to PM2.5, an air pollutant from wildfire smoke and other sources, can be harmful to lung and heart health, especially for those with pre-existing health conditions.Continue Reading
In the United States, people of color breathe more particulate air pollution on average, a finding that holds across income levels and regions of the US, according to a study by researchers at the EPA-funded Center for Air, Climate, and Energy Solutions. The findings expand a body of evidence showing that African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and other people of color are disproportionately exposed to a regulated air pollutant called fine particulate matter (PM2.5). PM2.5 is emitted by prescribed fire.Continue Reading
A $1 million award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will help researchers in Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering develop tactics to protect children from harmful emissions from controlled wildland burns. The initiative will provide equipment and new communications approaches in middle and high schools in Albany and Columbus, Ga., and Phenix City, Ala. Georgia Tech is focusing on the three cities because of their proximity to regular controlled burns, in addition to the communities’ lower socioeconomic statuses.Continue Reading
Serves as the Fire Weather Meteorologist for the wildland fire agencies Southern Geographic Area for the express purpose of ensuring the continued availability and adequacy of a viable fire weather program. Ensures state-of-the-art meteorological and climatological science is being utilized in the geographic area. In so doing, the incumbent manages, plans, organizes and directs the fire weather program within the geographic area for the federal and state wildland agencies.
Develops interagency program direction for fire weather products, tropical forecasts and services and monitoring systems sufficient to establish baseline information to improve fire weather and tropical weather decision support.
In partnership with state meteorologists, provides expert advice and consultation to the Geographic Area Multi-Agency Coordination (MAC) Group concerning fire weather issues. The Geographic Area MAC group is comprised of the fire directors representing the various land management agencies.
Reviews and determines adherence to regulations and instructions included in operational plans, monitors the condition, adequacy and viability of weather data collection equipment, systems, and personnel.
Responsible for the management of the weather data collection network for federal and state wildland fire agencies in the geographic area.
Serves as liaison between the federal wildland fire agencies in each geographic area and the providers of weather and climatological services including the NWS, private weather vendors, and wildland fire agency meteorologists.
Maintains a collaborative working relationship with state meteorologists to coordinate program services, operations, tech transfer, and applied research.
Provides meteorological expertise on accident/incident investigations as necessary.
Air pollution and wildfire smoke can have immediate and lasting health effects. Individuals who are regularly exposed to poor air quality may report different health behaviors and conditions than those who are less exposed. EPA researchers set out to determine whether self-reported protective behaviors or health conditions differed by air quality.
To conduct this research EPA scientists developed Smoke Sense, a citizen science project which provides real-time information on wildfire smoke and air quality and allows users to engage in citizen science by reporting their experiences with smoke, heath symptoms, and exposure-reducing behaviors.
Through the participation of citizen scientists, EPA seeks to understand the relationship between health risk communication strategies and individuals’ adoption of health protective behaviors. The study explores the role of risk perceptions and personal motivations for engagement and changing behavior.
Smoke Sense also demonstrates effective use of technology for health research and risk communication. Using a mobile app, Smoke Sense advances methodology for rigorously collecting data during emergent and dynamic conditions while simultaneously encouraging adoption of exposure-reducing behaviors.Continue Reading
The Fire and Smoke Model Evaluation Experiment (FASMEE) is a large collaborative, multifaceted fire research project that involves scientists from across the US, including many from the South. Our partners at the Tall Timbers Research Station Wildland Fire Science Program are heavily involved in FASMEE, with research on fire behavior, smoke dynamics, and fire effects. Be sure to read more about the FASMEE stand-replacement prescribed burns that were held at the Fishlake National Forest and Dixie National Forest over the past couple of years. Want to learn more? Check out the FASMEE media coverage, including the videos posted below and a story from Vice News. Check out this amazing view from inside one of the FASMEE prescribed stand-replacement burns!
EPA researchers are working to provide the science needed to better prepare and respond to outdoor and indoor wildfire smoke. The science is part of a large federal initiative by the Biden-Harris Administration outlined in a White House fact sheet to address the growing threat from wildfires, which are increasing in size and intensity, driven in large part by climate change.Continue Reading
Exposure to wildfire smoke during pregnancy increases the risk of preterm birth — a risk that is only getting worse, a new study from Stanford University has found.
The study, published in Environmental Research, found as many as 7,000 additional preterm births in California could be attributed to wildfire smoke exposure between 2007 and 2012.Continue Reading