Smoke emissions from prescribed burning of southern California chaparral
Document Type: Report
Author(s): Colin C. Hardy; Susan G. Conard; Jon C. Regelbrugge; David R. Teesdale
Publication Year: 1996

Cataloging Information

  • chaparral
  • emission factor
  • fire emissions
  • smoke management
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: November 12, 2015
FRAMES Record Number: 11495


This report characterizes smoke emissions from small-scale prescribed burns in southern California chaparral. In situ measurements of smoke emissions were made from 12 fires. Three replicate tests were performed in each of four distinct fuel and fire treatments common to vegetation management operations: a young and rigorous chamise-dominated stand; an old and decadent chamise-dominated stand; an old chamise-dominated stand after crushing; and a stand consisting mainly of old ceanothus. Emission factors for total particulate matter, particulate matter 10 micrograms in size and less, particulate matter 2.5 micrograms in size and less, carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and nonmethane hydrocarbons have been developed from the tests. In addition, combustion efficiency and the rates of fuel consumption and heat release were derived from real time measurements of CO, CO2, temperature, and vertical mass flux. The highest combustion efficiencies observed for the flaming phase were from tests at the crushed sites, where most flaming phase emission factors were lower than for the other areas. These results suggested positive management implications for crushing. Emission factors from previous tests in untreated (standing) chaparral are combined with the present data, and the average values from the combined tests are provided for general use in describing smoke emissions from standing chaparral in southern California.

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Hardy, Colin C.; Conard, Susan G.; Regelbrugge, Jon C.; Teesdale, David R. 1996. Smoke emissions from prescribed burning of southern California chaparral. Research Paper PNW-RP-486. Portland, OR: USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 37 p.