National Academies Press: OpenBook
« Previous: Where Are We Now?
Suggested Citation:"Where Do We Want to Be?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26465.
×

Where Do We Want to Be?

The second session focused on what information is needed on the ground to better protect air quality and human health, and how this translates into primary research needs within the atmospheric science and health communities. In other words, what needs to be learned about air quality to mitigate, manage, and prevent health effects?

Protecting Public Health at the Local Level

Sarah Coefield, Missoula City-County Health Department, explained what is needed to protect public health from wildfire smoke based on her experience in a local public health department. There are a number of roles that public health officials must take on during smoke events, sometimes in collaboration with other departments or agencies, that could be improved with additional information from the health and atmospheric science communities. These roles include communicating smoke forecasts and information about how to reduce exposure, providing intervention measures, and making policy decisions (Figure 5).

To improve communications about smoke and air quality, Coefield emphasized the need to convey information about when the smoke will be present, how long it will be present, and when the air quality will be at its worst during the event. This gives the public a sense of agency and allows individuals to make plans that may lessen their exposure. It is also helpful in the current environment where public health officials are striving to provide guidance about smoke

Image
FIGURE 5. Overview of the role of public health officials in addressing wildland fire smoke events. SOURCE: Coefield presentation.
Suggested Citation:"Where Do We Want to Be?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26465.
×

exposure alongside precautions to reduce exposure to SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). For instance, if school classes are held outside due to COVID-19, questions arise about the point at which outdoor smoke levels become unsafe. Models are helpful for forecasting; however, current models struggle with capturing smoke in complex terrain including small, narrow valleys in Montana where many people live. Better monitoring information is also needed, Coefield explained. In a large state like Montana, which has only 20 permanent PM2.5 monitoring sites, many people do not live near real-time, ground-based information about their air quality and therefore must rely on information available at larger scales.

Communicating research about the health effects of smoke in a way that is actionable is also important. Highly detailed research studies are often not readily translatable to address questions about what air quality levels are safe for children to play outside or to hold a sporting event, for instance. Instead, information that can establish clear requirements is useful to move beyond providing advice and guidelines—people tend to push back against guidelines and not change their behavior. Ideally, more information about how much smoke is too much for different populations (e.g., different ages, different activities) would be valuable, Coefield said.

Improved understanding of indoor air quality during fire events is also important to protect health and inform what intervention measures could be used. Coefield explained that indoor air quality can quickly deteriorate to match that of outdoors, especially in large public buildings. Increasing the number of indoor air quality sensors in large buildings and in homes could help to understand this problem better and provide actionable information and cost-effective intervention options to improve indoor conditions and reduce smoke exposure. For intervention, it is critical to ensure that communities are treated equitably and that a sustainable funding source is available to provide the necessary equipment (e.g., N95 respirators or portable air cleaners) and to inform the public.

Finally, data-driven policy changes are needed, Coefield said. Jurisdictions could aim to handle wildfire smoke issues in a consistent manner, with comparable resources. One example is to update building ventilation standards to require filtration that traps fine PM found in smoke. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers is currently developing guidelines for wildfire smoke-prone areas, which could lead to updates to ventilation standards. Another example is to improve the protections for outdoor workers, many of whom are of low socioeconomic status and have additional health complications. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is tasked with ensuring safe and healthful working conditions in the United States, does not include protection from wildfire smoke.

Examples of Research Needs to Improve Understanding of Smoke Health Effects

Michael Kleinman, University of California, Irvine, discussed what information is needed to improve understanding of wildfire smoke health effects from toxicological and public health perspectives. From the atmospheric sciences, this includes information about the size of particles in the smoke plume as it ages and is transported, as well as detailed chemical characterization of the smoke over time. From the health community, Kleinman said that information on bioavailability (i.e., how the body takes up smoke toxins) from both wildland

Suggested Citation:"Where Do We Want to Be?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26465.
×

and structural fires is needed, as well as better toxicity assessments of smoke constituents. Prospective epidemiological assessments over time that assess potential chronic consequences of repeated smoke exposure over the course of a year or years would also be valuable.

There is also still much to be learned about specific stressors (biological factors or health status) and the role of multiple stressors in impacting health risks. Some stressors are well known, but time has not been spent to isolate specific effects. Age, for example, is known to impact how people respond to air pollution, with younger people tending to have more respiratory effects and older people experiencing more cardiovascular effects. Little is currently known about the effects of exposure on developing lungs and hearts, especially in children, and there is limited information on what happens to unborn children when pregnant women are exposed to wildfire smoke. Other stressors where information is lacking include the role of gender in influencing health effects as well as the influence of mental health. Stress is known to reduce immune function, which is critical in preventing diseases and response to multiple chemical exposures. For multiple exposures, Kleinman explained that having an AQI that addresses more than one pollutant would be beneficial because there can be additive and/or interacting health effects among pollutants.

Most of what is currently known about health effects of smoke exposure come from short-term studies, meaning that the long-term risks of exposure are not well established. Kleinman noted that a major challenge to conducting long-term, prospective epidemiological studies is that it is difficult to get funding. The short-term data that are available show strong epidemiological evidence of acute effects of inhaling particles on respiratory disease, including asthma and COPD. Inhaled particles are also strongly related to cardiovascular disease associated with air pollution generally. However, the evidence connecting cardiovascular disease to wildfire smoke in particular is currently weaker. Heart disease is causally related to exposures to ambient PM, and inhaled particles and gases associated with wildfires are composed of compounds that are known to affect heart disease and cancer. Kleinman explained that much of the chemical composition of toxic substances associated with combustion-related emissions and pollution are not that dissimilar from wildfire smoke, so they may be expected to have similar health effects. As wildfire frequency and intensity increase, exposures over the long term will be a substantial fraction of annual exposure and are not taken into account in current air quality guidelines.

Smoke Mitigation and Management Needs

Panelists provided insights from on-the-ground experience working to mitigate and manage wildland fire risks, coordinate activities and make decisions, and protect occupational workers exposed to smoky conditions. This included explaining common challenges as well as some successes in getting to where we want to be.

Proactive Forest Management

Dana Skelly, USFS, described how fire suppression and climate change have affected fire regimes and the role of proactive wildland fire management. Every ecosystem that has vegetation will burn at some point; it is just a question of how often and how intensely it will

Suggested Citation:"Where Do We Want to Be?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26465.
×

burn. The success of fire suppression over the past 100+ years has created an illusion that all wildland fires can be controlled. Instead, fires are a disturbance that must be lived with and managed, much like hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes.

Skelly explained how past land management practices, including fire suppression, have contributed to the shift in the intensity and severity of wildland fires (Box 3). To counteract this, prescribed burns and mechanical treatments that remove fuels are used in areas that would have burned naturally in the past when suppression efforts were not implemented. This leads to the question of what it means to manage a forest enough to compensate for past practices, compounded with the impacts of climate change. Research has shown that annually only about 45% of the area that would have burned historically within the National Forest System is being treated (Vaillant and Reinhardt, 2017), meaning that the managed footprint is not equal to what historically burned. This does not allow for the decision space required to effectively provide for firefighter and public safety, reduce smoke impacts, or consider restoration options. From a mitigation standpoint, wildland fire smoke is the worst-case scenario. Prescribed burns produce less smoke than wildland fires and, in many parts of the country, less smoke than wood-burning stoves. The fire situation being experienced now is much greater than what was experienced in the past.

A Local Government Effort

John Stromberg, mayor of Ashland, Oregon, explained actions taken to protect the city from wildfire threats and the associated challenges of developing policies that balance various risks to the community. Ashland is a city that has been built into a dense forest that serves as the city’s primary water source. Fires in this area pose a serious risk to the water supply and the town, and Stromberg has prioritized the development of the Ashland Forest Resiliency (AFR) Project as a way to mitigate these risks. The AFR Project is a collaboration of the City of Ashland, USFS, the Nature Conservancy, and Lomakatsi Restoration that has implemented a long-term tree thinning and controlled burning program. Every 5-7 years, thinned areas are revisited and burned to maintain low fuel loads. This project has become a national example and is projected to scale up into the Rogue Basin Strategy. Many lessons were learned and negotiations took place during the AFR Project development, Stromberg explained. Balancing the health risks of smoke from prescribed burning against the risk of wildfires themselves is a conversation that is very challenging.

Initially, Oregon state policies did not provide the flexibility needed to conduct the prescribed burns required to keep fuel loads low. To address this, the State of Oregon Smoke Rules Review Committee developed new rules. Now, there is a 3-year process of negotiating with the Oregon Department of Forestry, the Environmental Quality Commission, and the Oregon Health Authority, who are all involved in the regulatory structure by which the EPA air quality standards are enforced in Oregon. Exemptions are available for communities that have adequate “community smoke mitigation programs” to compensate for the potential smoke exposure resulting from prescribed burning. The Smokewise Ashland program serves as this program for Ashland, allowing the AFR Project to conduct burns. Stromberg said that these new rules are better but still do not allow for the extent of prescribed burning necessary to keep up with new fuel accumulation. Stromberg also noted that when areas are thinned initially, the

Suggested Citation:"Where Do We Want to Be?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26465.
×

biomass that is removed also needs to be addressed—burning it can create very smoky conditions. There are new high-temperature-combustion techniques that may be appropriate to consider as this and other projects scale up.

A State Government Approach

Michael Benjamin, California Air Resources Board (CARB), explained how the state air quality agency is striving to balance the need for more prescribed fire on the landscape with public health concerns related to smoke exposure. Prescribed burning is a key tool in combating wildland fires and is increasingly being used in California. In 2020, the state, in agreement with USFS, set a goal of treating 1 million acres of forest and wildland each year, including the use of prescribed burns. Conducting prescribed burns in California involves many partners working together to accomplish all necessary tasks, from identifying safe conditions to conducting the burn itself (Figure 6). Public support is also a critical element in prescribed burning, and Benjamin explained that through a focus on outreach, the public is beginning to understand the

Suggested Citation:"Where Do We Want to Be?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26465.
×

need for prescribed burning and the trade-offs between some smoke during times when favorable conditions can be chosen compared to out-of-control wildland fires that can result in some of the worst air quality ever seen in the state.

CARB participates in prescribed burning in a variety of other ways. The agency determines where and when prescribed burns can be conducted, based on meteorological considerations designed to protect public health and air quality. The agency is also responsible for tracking prescribed burning activities through the Prescribed Fire Incident Reporting System. This online database allows for streamlined permitting and approval for prescribed burns for land managers and helps CARB to track progress in meeting prescribed fire goals. There is also research within the agency focused on determining whether there are a sufficient number of “ok to burn” days in a year to achieve prescribed burn goals, since unfavorable conditions and times of active wildland fires often need to be avoided. The number of burn days can also be reduced if there is insufficient personnel on the ground to conduct the burns when conditions are favorable. Preliminary results suggest that there are a reasonable number of days available for burning in the Sacramento area based on fuel moisture information, and there are plans to expand analysis to the entire state and for longer time periods, Benjamin said.

Benjamin noted that it is critical to identify specific roadblocks, friction points, or resource limitations to managing forests to mitigate fire risks. Addressing these challenges involves working with partners across government, the private sector, academia, and the public. These outreach efforts will help strike the balance between meeting public health air quality concerns and managing forests to lessen the occurrence of catastrophic wildland fire events.

Image
FIGURE 6. Partners engaged in prescribed burning in California and their respective responsibilities. SOURCE: Benjamin presentation.
Suggested Citation:"Where Do We Want to Be?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26465.
×

Occupational Protections for Outdoor Workers

Lee Newman, Colorado School of Public Health and School of Medicine, explained the health risks to those who work outside and are exposed to wildfire smoke, often in combination with other stressors. A broad range of worker types are exposed to wildfire smoke, Newman explained. For example, in Guatemala, workers in sugarcane fields conduct physically demanding work while concurrently being exposed to PM2.5 at levels of about 300+ µg/m3 during an 8-hour shift. Exposure to high degrees of heat and humidity, air toxins, and strenuous activity in the context of smoke have the compounding effects of high respiratory rate and dehydration, which contribute to the health impacts. A growth in the occurrence of kidney disease has also been observed, including in young workers.

To protect individuals and communities more broadly, new strategies to mitigate exposure and protect outdoor workers are needed, Newman said. Wearing an N95 respirator is insufficient for the conditions workers are often in. Respirators are uncomfortable and will saturate with moisture and become less effective when workers sweat. Unhealthy working conditions not only impact the individuals exposed but also affect their productivity and ultimately contribute to a loss of access to commodities or food insecurity when agricultural workers are impacted. What hurts workers hurts everyone—including families and communities locally and globally, Newman said.

Occupational Protections for Firefighters

Olorunfemi Adetona, The Ohio State University, provided an overview of occupational health concerns for wildland firefighters. Potential exposure of wildland firefighters (Figure 7) is increasing as a result of larger wildland fires, the use of prescribed burns, and the size of the U.S. population living in fire-prone areas. The exposure of firefighters working at the fire line is very complex due to how much time they spend in the plume (determined by specific tasks), the type of vegetation burning, and the many other sources of air pollutants present (e.g., suspended dust, emissions from tools that are combusting petroleum fuels, emissions from burning structures). PM is the measure that has traditionally been used for exposure assessments for this group; however, the relationship between PM and other toxics in wildfire smoke may vary across fires, and it is unclear whether PM is the best measure to use for all health outcomes. Alternative measures that have been used include CO as well as urinary biomarkers such as metabolites, PAHs, and methoxyphenols. There are limitations with these measures. For instance, CO may underestimate exposure, and biomarkers are not necessarily specific to wildland fire smoke.

Most of what is known about adverse health effects of smoke exposure for firefighters relates to acute physiological responses. These include oxidative stress, inflammation, and decline in lung function. There is limited information on the chronic effects of repeated exposure, but effects are expected given what is known from studies of other combustion sources. The few studies available for wildland fire reported an association between career

Suggested Citation:"Where Do We Want to Be?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26465.
×
Image
FIGURE 7. Image of wildland firefighters in the field. SOURCE: Chieh-Ming Wu, in Adetona presentation.

length and increased rates of hypertension (Semmens et al., 2016), an increase in lipid markers across a fire season (Coker et al., 2019), and estimated increased risk of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease (Navarro et al., 2019). To protect firefighters from these health outcomes, greater exposure control and exposure pathway research is needed, Adetona said. Currently, there is no commercially available respirator that meets necessary requirements for flame resistance, clean air delivery over extended periods of time, and portability. For now, stopgap measures could be put in place to reduce inhalation exposure, but Adetona suggested that research should also focus on improved understanding and safeguards to reduce “total exposure” and exposure through other routes, such as through the skin.

Avenues to Improve Human Health Protections

Speakers discussed information needed to protect health for the next few decades. In the near term, access to reliable, real-time information that can be used by the public to make informed decisions and take action to help mitigate exposure to air pollution was suggested. This includes using low-cost monitoring networks, which have expanded in size. Longer-term, proactive management of fire-prone ecosystems to reduce fuel loads is also necessary, several panelists said. Thinning and prescribed burning will not eliminate the possibility of large fires, but strategically placed treatments should lessen the occurrence of catastrophic events and could help to protect key areas and resources like water supplies. Speakers suggested that management will need to be sustained, and in states like California, it will take decades to sufficiently reduce fuel loads.

Suggested Citation:"Where Do We Want to Be?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26465.
×

For the health effects discussed during the session, PM2.5 was the central focus, but there are many other pollutants and synergistic effects to consider. For instance, there are interactive effects between PM and O3 whereby individuals may be more susceptible to the effects of PM when O3 levels are high. Forecasting this occurrence can be challenging though, because these pollutants do not always co-occur. The interacting effects of substances are also not well studied. For example, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances are a suite of chemicals often used in the pink foam used as a flame suppressant and have been linked to chronic kidney disease and cancer. Panelists reinforced that there is still much to learn about the constituents in smoke and their variability and co-occurrence. At the same time, exposures are always a mixture of pollutants, so disentangling which constituents are the drivers of health effects is difficult. Even PM2.5 is a complex mix of substances.

The AQI was also discussed by the panelists. The AQI is viewed as a useful communication tool because it is simple and understandable to the public (see Box 2). It serves as shorthand way to say “wear a mask” or “do not exercise outdoors above a given AQI,” which is a positive start to reducing exposure. With this simplicity, though, comes a lack of detail from which vulnerable populations in particular would benefit. Some speakers suggested that guidelines should be tailored to different groups, such as those with no respiratory disease, those with cardiovascular disease, and children. Occupational outdoor workers could also have guidelines that account for working outside and exerting themselves while being exposed to air pollutants, and firefighters could have access to personal monitoring equipment to track the quality of air they are inhaling. Another challenge of the AQI is that the information can be misused. For instance, some may interpret that an AQI of 149 does not require a respirator while an AQI of 150 does, despite the air quality being quite similarly poor for both values. Additionally, the AQI is developed based on a relatively sparse network of monitoring sites, meaning that individuals are making decisions based on data that may not be representative of their exact location.

Environmental justice came up in many discussions in this session. For the occupational workers who cannot stay indoors during poor air quality conditions, there is usually little choice other than to work under the conditions or risk losing their jobs. These workers may also suffer from other health conditions or have limited access to health care. Questions of justice also arise when considering prescribed burns, especially for firefighters, who will have increased exposure with more planned burn events. Without measures in place to better mitigate exposure, speakers noted that firefighters are at greater risk of health effects.

Respiratory Viral Infections and Wildfire Smoke

Sarah Henderson, British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, spoke about links between the health effects of wildland fire smoke and respiratory viral infections, including COVID-19. One of the features of smoke that makes it so troublesome from a health standpoint is that the individual particles are very fine. Within the classification of PM2.5, many of the particles are less than 1 micron (PM1) and are an agglomeration of even smaller particles. These agglomerations consist of particles with a large surface-area-to-volume ratio, which increases their interactions with cells encountered in the respiratory tract and lungs. Smaller particles can also penetrate more deeply into the lungs.

Suggested Citation:"Where Do We Want to Be?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26465.
×

Some health effects of concern relate to the body’s direct response to a virus when smoke is present. When a person contracts a respiratory virus, the body’s immune response is to produce macrophages that consume and remove the virus. If smoke particles are present, the body must fight both the smoke and the virus at the same time, reducing the effectiveness of the response. An additional challenge from smoke when compared to a virus is that the body cannot neutralize the particles, which results in secondary effects of inflammation, spillover into the bloodstream, and impacts on other parts of the body. Smoke also impairs or clogs up the small hairs in the respiratory system (epithelial cilia), meaning that virus may stay in the respiratory tract whereas in the absence of smoke it would be cleared. This provides more opportunity for a viral infection to establish when smoke is present. The evidence presently shows that respiratory and cardiovascular health effects are strong for both wildland fire smoke and COVID-19 infections and that the interactions between these acute effects will be important to investigate further. Longer-term immunosuppression from exposure to wildland fire smoke is also a concern, Henderson noted.

Currently, there is limited information about the interactions between wildfire smoke and respiratory viruses, and even less about smoke and COVID-19. Research that is available has shown that PM from biomass burning has a considerable impact on the occurrence of influenza infections (Croft et al., 2020) as well as a relationship between exposure to air pollution (PM2.5, PM10, CO, NO2) and higher likelihood of being infected with COVID-19 (Zhu et al., 2020). Work by Henderson (2020) modeling the relationship between smoke and the COVID-19 epidemic curve suggests that a fire event occurring during a time of high COVID-19 infection rate could increase the estimated number of cases and deaths by 10%. This is because those exposed to smoke and COVID-19 concurrently are more likely to develop an infection and spread it to others, and may also develop a more severe infection themselves. It is also possible that a response may be delayed, for instance, resulting in a higher than expected infection rate during the influenza season occurring months after an extreme fire season (Landguth et al., 2020).

Planning for the public health impacts of the co-occurrence of wildfire smoke and COVID-19, influenza, or future pandemics is needed, Henderson said. Addressing changes needed over the long term such as building codes is important, but in the shorter term, preseason preparedness for the fire season is key to midseason successes. Guidance for how individuals should shelter in place, long-term care facilities, acute care facilities, schools, and daycares, all with COVID-19 considerations included, would likely be useful. Within the research community, Henderson suggested that it is critical to consider health outcomes of wildland fire smoke and COVID-19 in smoke-impacted places to determine what these relationships are; it will remain unclear how important smoke is in affecting COVID-19 until the research is conducted.

Some Session Themes

Christine Wiedinmyer, CIRES, provided a summary of the second session. Some key themes she identified across the session included the following:

Suggested Citation:"Where Do We Want to Be?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26465.
×
  • Climate, weather, fire, emissions, air quality, and health are all connected. Understanding these areas independently as well as their interconnections is important for protecting human health.
  • A lot is known, but there is also a lot to learn. The tools are not perfect, but steps can still be taken now to protect health as the science continues to advance and improve understanding.
  • When vegetation is present, burning will occur. It is just a question of when, how often, and how severe wildland fires will be. Better understanding of these factors will help communities adapt and mitigate effects.
  • Funding and mechanisms that foster cross-disciplinary and long-term health effects studies, facilitate collection of additional emissions and chemistry data, and support communications and outreach efforts can all contribute to protecting public health.
Suggested Citation:"Where Do We Want to Be?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26465.
×

This page intentionally left blank.

Suggested Citation:"Where Do We Want to Be?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26465.
×
Page 25
Suggested Citation:"Where Do We Want to Be?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26465.
×
Page 26
Suggested Citation:"Where Do We Want to Be?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26465.
×
Page 27
Suggested Citation:"Where Do We Want to Be?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26465.
×
Page 28
Suggested Citation:"Where Do We Want to Be?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26465.
×
Page 29
Suggested Citation:"Where Do We Want to Be?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26465.
×
Page 30
Suggested Citation:"Where Do We Want to Be?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26465.
×
Page 31
Suggested Citation:"Where Do We Want to Be?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26465.
×
Page 32
Suggested Citation:"Where Do We Want to Be?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26465.
×
Page 33
Suggested Citation:"Where Do We Want to Be?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26465.
×
Page 34
Suggested Citation:"Where Do We Want to Be?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26465.
×
Page 35
Suggested Citation:"Where Do We Want to Be?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26465.
×
Page 36
Next: How Do We Get There? »
Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop Get This Book
×
 Wildland Fires: Toward Improved Understanding and Forecasting of Air Quality Impacts: Proceedings of a Workshop
Buy Paperback | $30.00 Buy Ebook | $24.99
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

Wildland fires pose a growing threat to air quality and human health. Fire is a natural part of many landscapes, but the extent of area burned and the severity of fires have been increasing, concurrent with human movement into previously uninhabited fire-prone areas and forest management practices that have increased fuel loads. These changes heighten the risk of exposure to fire itself and emissions (smoke), which can travel thousands of miles and affect millions of people, creating local, regional, and national air quality and health concerns.

To address this growing threat, the National Academies brought together atmospheric chemistry and health research communities, natural resource managers, and decision makers to discuss current knowledge and needs surrounding how wildland fire emissions affect air quality and human health. Participants also explored opportunities to better bridge these communities to advance science and improve the production and exchange of information. This publication summarizes the workshop discussions and themes that emerged throughout the meeting.

READ FREE ONLINE

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    Switch between the Original Pages, where you can read the report as it appeared in print, and Text Pages for the web version, where you can highlight and search the text.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  9. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!