In a Nutshell: This webinar will address what could be done to reduce the amount of smoke experienced by frequently impacted communities during wildfire season.
Presenter: Rick Graw, USDA Forest Service
Smoke from wildfires is a well-recognized public health and safety issue. While there have been extensive efforts to help communities be “smoke ready”, most people would still prefer not to live with weeks of unhealthy air quality during the summer and fall. This webinar will address what could be done to reduce the amount of smoke experienced by frequently impacted communities during wildfire season. By knowing the frequent pathways that air moves into these communities during wildfire season, we gain some insights as to where fuel treatments can have a greater probability of reducing smoke from subsequent wildfires. Rather than using wind roses, meteorological modeling and GIS processing techniques provide raster images of these pathways for each community. A case study illustrates that these strategic fuel treatments can reduce smoke by 40 percent from subsequent wildfires. The webinar will also cover how raster images and fuel reduction strategies can be integrated into planning and implementation strategies including regional wildfire crisis strategies, forest restoration plans, and community wildfire protection plans. Additionally, the frequent air pathways can be used during wildfire season for decision support to reduce smoke impacts to the public.