Particulate source strength determination for low-intensity prescribed fires
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): D. E. Ward; E. R. Elliott; C. K. McMahon; D. D. Wade
Publication Year: 1974

Cataloging Information

  • aerosols
  • air quality
  • backfires
  • combustion
  • distribution
  • fire hazard reduction
  • fire intensity
  • fire management
  • forest management
  • fuel moisture
  • fuel types
  • grasses
  • hardwood forests
  • Ilex glabra
  • land management
  • leaves
  • litter
  • needles
  • particulates
  • pine forests
  • Pinus elliottii
  • Pinus taeda
  • Quercus rubra
  • sampling
  • Serenoa repens
  • smoke management
  • Solidago
  • wind
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: July 12, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 40073
Tall Timbers Record Number: 14816
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File-DDW
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, 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.


Prescribed fire is the intentional use of fire to achieve certain land management goals. Over 2 million acres of forest land in the southern United States are treated with this tool each year. The benefits from these burns can be offset by a degradation of air quality due to the improper management of combustion products. This paper reports on a portion of the overall research program at the Southern Forest Fire Laboratory which is designed to provide smoke management guidelines to land management personnel. Included is a description of a method for determining particulate source strength emission factors for low-intensity prescribed fires. A limited amount of data regarding source strength, smoke concentration, and particulate size distribution for 9 natural environment prescribed fires is presented. Results are compared with previous data collected from fuel samples burned in the combustion room at the laboratory. Comparability was found between the concentrations of particulates determined while sampling side-by-side with the high-volume air sampler, the Andersen sampler, and open-faced 47 mm filters. Significant differences in particle size distributions were found between fuel types. Artificially produced fuel beds in the laboratory yielded lower particulate production rates than fires in undisturbed natural fuels in the forest. Particulate concentrations were found to be excessive near the fire, 60,000 Fg/m3 but decreased to less than 30,000 Fg/m3 10 feet away.

Ward, D. E., E. R. Elliott, C. K. McMahon, and D. D. Wade. 1974. Particulate source strength determination for low-intensity prescribed fires, Specialty conference on Control Technology for Agricultural Air Pollutants [proceedings]. Memphis, TN. Air Pollution Control Association,Pittsburgh, PA. p. 39-54,