A coupled wildfire-emission and dispersion framework for probabilistic PM2.5 estimation
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): David Melecio-Vázquez; Chris W. Lautenberger; Ho Hsieh; Michael Amodeo; Jeremy R. Porter; Bradley Wilson; Mariah Pope; Evelyn Shu; Valentin Waeselynck; Edward J. Kearns
Publication Year: 2023

Cataloging Information

  • air quality
  • dispersion
  • PM - particulate matter
  • PM2.5
  • smoke transport
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 5, 2023
FRAMES Record Number: 68284


Accurate representation of fire emissions and smoke transport is crucial for current and future wildfire-smoke projections. We present a flexible modeling framework for emissions sourced from the First Street Foundation Wildfire Model (FSF-WFM) to provide a national map for near-surface smoke conditions exceeding the threshold for unhealthy concentrations of particulate matter at or less than 2.5 µm, or PM2.5. Smoke yield from simulated fires is converted to emissions transported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s HYSPLIT model. We present a strategy for sampling from a simulation of ~65 million individual fires, to depict the occurrence of “unhealthy smoke days” defined as 24-h average PM2.5 concentration greater than 35.4 µg/m3 from HYSPLIT. The comparison with historical smoke simulations finds reasonable agreement using only a small subset of simulated fires. The total amount of PM2.5 mass-released threshold of 1015 µg was found to be effective for simulating the occurrence of unhealthy days without significant computational burden.

Online Link(s):
Melecio-Vázquez, David; Lautenberger, Chris W.; Hsieh, Ho; Amodeo, Michael; Porter, Jeremy R.; Wilson, Bradley; Pope, Mariah; Shu, Evelyn; Waeselynck, Valentin; Kearns, Edward J. 2023. A coupled wildfire-emission and dispersion framework for probabilistic PM2.5 estimation. Fire 6(6):220.