Smoke in a New Era of Fire

TitleSmoke in a New Era of Fire
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsAgriculture, USDepartment
Series TitleScience Update
Document Number24
Date Publishedfall 2017
InstitutionU.S. Department of Agriculture, PNW Station
CityPortland, OR
Keywordssmoke and air quality, technical reports and journal articles

Smoke from fire can sharply reduce air quality by releasing particulate matter, one of the most dangerous types of air pollution for human health. A third of U.S. households have someone sensitive to smoke. Minimizing the amount and impact of smoke is a high priority for land managers and regulators. One tool for achieving that goal is prescribed fire. Prescribed fire can be controlled and planned carefully to minimize smoke impacts and warn communities in advance. It can also help reduce decades worth of vegetation buildup from past fire exclusion and help restore dry, fire-adapted forests. Forest Service research is
helping decisionmakers plan for, predict, and control smoke from fires and communicate smoke impacts to the public.