Emissions from fire have a greater affect on air quality than any other activity occurring on public lands. Growing public awareness, and concern for air quality, creates the need for line officers who understand how management decisions may affect potential smoke receptors such as population centers or Class 1 Areas. Below we will describe an incident in which smoke impacted a major metropolitan area, and evaluate the management responses and lessons which result from this event.
While reading through this section, consider how the impacts of wildland fire smoke may affect public health and compliance with federal air quality regulations. Also make note of how these impacts were addressed, and how you may address them in your area.
Hu, Yongtao, Odman, Talat, Chang, Michael E., Jackson, William, Lee, Sangil, Edgerton, Eric S., Baumann, Karsten, and Armistead G. Russel. 2008. Simulation of Air Quality Impacts from Prescribed Fires on an Urban Area. Environmental Science & Technology. 42(10) pp. 3676-3682.
Shelton, Stacey and Saeed Ahmed. 2007, Feb. 28th. Smoke Clouds Metro Area; Forestry Service Conducts Controlled Burn. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Other Information courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.