The wildfires of August and September 2020 in the western part of the United States were characterized by an unparalleled duration and wide geographical coverage. A particular consequence of massive wildfires includes serious health effects due to short and long-term exposure to poor air quality.
Objectives. To describe demographic and social characteristics of US communities exposed to wildfire smoke.
Methods. Using satellite-collected data on wildfire smoke with the locations of population centers in the coterminous United States, we identified communities potentially exposed to light-, medium-, and heavy-density smoke plumes for each day from 2011 to 2021.
Wildfires are increasing in frequency, raising concerns that smoke can permeate indoor environments and expose people to chemical air contaminants. To study smoke transformations in indoor environments and evaluate mitigation strategies, we added smoke to a test house.
A novel approach is presented to analyze smoke exposure and provide a metric to quantify health-related impacts. Our results support the current understanding that managing low-intensity fire for ecological benefit reduces exposure when compared to a high-intensity full suppression fire in the Sierra Nevada of California.
Weather is an important factor that determines smoke development, which is essential information for planning smoke field measurements. This study identifies the synoptic systems that would favor to produce the desired smoke plumes for the Fire and Smoke Model Evaluation Experiment (FASMEE).
The natural cycle of landscape fire maintains the ecological health of the land, yet adverse health effects associated with exposure to emissions from wildfire produce public health and clinical challenges. Systematic reviews conclude that a positive association exists between exposure to wildfire smoke or wildfire particulate matter (PM2.5) and all-cause mortality and respiratory morbidity.
Wildfire episodes pose a significant public health threat in the United States. Adverse health impacts associated with wildfires occur near the burn area as well as in places far downwind due to wildfire smoke exposures.
Wildfires have significant effects on human populations worldwide. Smoke pollution, in particular, from either prescribed burns or uncontrolled wildfires, can have profound health impacts, such as reducing birth weight in children and aggravating respiratory and cardiovascular conditions.