Smoke exposure among firefighters at prescribed burns in the Pacific Northwest
Document Type: Book
Author(s): T. E. Reinhardt; R. D. Ottmar; A. J.S. Hanneman
Publication Year: 2000

Cataloging Information

  • air quality
  • carbon
  • carbon dioxide
  • chemical compounds
  • CO - carbon monoxide
  • duff
  • fine fuels
  • fire case histories
  • fire management
  • fire size
  • fire suppression
  • firefighters
  • firefighting personnel
  • fuel loading
  • fuel moisture
  • gases
  • health effects
  • health factors
  • mopping up
  • particulates
  • pollutants
  • pollution
  • smoke effects
  • smoke hazards
  • smoke management
  • statistical analysis
  • toxicity
  • wind
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: September 19, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 45889
Tall Timbers Record Number: 21500
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: A13.78:PNW-526
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.


Smoke exposure measurements among firefighters during prescribed burns in the Pacific Northwest between 1991 and 1994 showed that a small but significant percentage of workers experienced exposure to carbon monoxide and respiratory irritant that exceeded occupational exposure limits. This most often was caused by unfavorable winds or fire behavior and occurred mostly among workers involved in maintaining the fire within the prescribed boundaries. Smoke exposure in such peak exposure situations was up to three times above recommended limits. Exposure to acrolein, benzene, formaldehyde, and respirable particulate matter could be predicted from measurements of carbon monoxide. Electronic dosimeters were the best tool to assess smoke exposure routinely, so long as quality assurance concepts were included in the monitoring program.

Reinhardt, T. E., R. D. Ottmar, and A. J. S. Hanneman. 2000. Smoke exposure among firefighters at prescribed burns in the Pacific Northwest. Research Paper PNW-PR-526. Portland, OR, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station.