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Smoke

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Wallow Fire, Arizona, 2011. Platte Canyon Crew working on a spot fire near Greer. (US Forest Service photo/Kari Greer)

Wallow Fire, Arizona, 2011. Platte Canyon Crew working on
a spot fire near Greer. (US Forest Service photo/Kari Greer)


Smoke

Firefighters do experience short-term effects of smoke, such as stinging, watery eyes, coughing and runny noses. Firefighters must be in good physical condition, which helps to offset adverse effects of smoke. Weather, climate, and air quality monitoring data are used by fire managers to customize smoke management techniques as needed. These data can also help local health departments alert citizens about the effects of smoke and where it may travel.

 


An air quality monitoring station near a wildfire. Photo courtesy of Andrea Holland-Sears.

An air quality monitoring station near a wildfire.
(Photo courtesy of Andrea Holland-Sears.)

 

NIFC

The legal foundation of smoke management is the Clean Air Act which establishes primary (public health) and secondary (welfare and environmental quality) standards for controlling air pollution. The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, ID uses a variety of tools assist in smoke management including: smoke and weather forecasts, smoke modeling, smoke monitoring, remotely sensed data and after action reviews.

 

 


West Fork Complex fire in southern Colorado on June 19, 2013 taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station on June 19, 2013.

West Fork Complex fire in southern Colorado on June 19,
2013 taken by astronauts aboard the International Space
Station on June 19, 2013.

 

NASA 

Understanding how high wildfires send smoke into the atmosphere is one of the key pieces of information required to predict where and how a smoke plume will spread. NASA's satellites are keeping an eye on smoke from wildfires and prescribed burns across the Western U.S.

 

 

 

 

 

EPA

EPA 

Smoke from a fire can travel rapidly, affecting air quality in areas hundreds of miles downwind. The Environmental Protection Agency says home air cleaners can help because they can help reduce particle levels indoors, as long as they are the right type and size for your home.

 

CDC

 

CDC 

The Centers for Disease Control says know whether you are at risk. Older adults are more likely to be affected by smoke. Children are more likely to be affected by health threats from smoke because their airways are still developing and because they breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults. Children also are more likely to be active.

 

 

US Forest Service
Last modified August 29, 2013
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