Factors influencing particulate concentrations resulting from open field burning
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): C. D. Craig; M. A. Wolf
Publication Year: 1980

Cataloging Information

  • agriculture
  • air quality
  • arthropods
  • backfires
  • field experimental fires
  • fire management
  • fuel loading
  • fuel moisture
  • grasslands
  • headfires
  • humidity
  • ignition
  • insects
  • Oregon
  • particulates
  • photography
  • rate of spread
  • smoke behavior
  • smoke management
  • statistical analysis
  • temperature
  • wind
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 37334
Tall Timbers Record Number: 11788
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File-DDW
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


A field investigation was initiated in the summer 1978 to quantify the influence of meteorological factors, ignition method, and fuel conditions on the behaviour of smoke plumes from open field burning. Measurements of air quality and meteorological conditions were performed within the plumes and their environment on 11 operational days during July and August using ground-based and airborne instrumentation. At the individual fields concurrent measurements were made of fuel conditions and fire characteristics. Groud-level particulate concentrations downwind of the burn area were found to be strongly correlated with plume height, which in turn was found to be predictable by means of equations presented by Briggs (1969). Thus, the impact of field burning on surface air quality was found to depend primarily on the burn rate, the field dimensions, the ambient windspeed, and the vertical potential temperature gradient. Using these results it was possible to develop simplified expressions for particulate exposure and peak concentration as smoke management tools.

Craig, C. D., and M. A. Wolf. 1980. Factors influencing particulate concentrations resulting from open field burning. Atmospheric Environment, v. 14, no. 4, p. 433-443.