USDA Forest Service

Fire and Environmental Research Applications Team


Fire and Environmental Research Applications Team
Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory

400 N 34th Street, Suite 201
Seattle, WA 98103

(206) 732-7800

Logo of the Pacific Northwest Research Station

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

USDA Link Forest Service Link


Icon of a magnifying glassPredicting Regional Haze from Wildland Fire

Visibility impairment from regional haze is a significant problem throughout the continental United States. A substantial portion of regional haze is produced by smoke from wildland fires. Future air quality across the United States will be sensitive to the effects of climate change on fire regimes and the smoke produced by wildland fires (McKenzie et al. 2006, 2013). FERA is collaborating with the AirFire team on regional-scale simulation modeling of smoke emissions and transport to inform wildland-fire policies and fire effects on ecosystems. Within this broad research agenda, we focus on the effects of wildfires on visibility in Class 1 airsheds (wilderness, national parks, and other federally protected areas), and at a broader scale, on regional changes in air quality under future climate scenarios.

Now available: version 2 of the Fire Scenario Builder (FSB) a software module that simulates fire occurrence and fire sizes based on daily meteorology, both from models and reanalysis. The FSB is a key element of the modeling system for future air quality, used with models of smoke emissions and transport and a national-scale map of fuel loadings derived from the Fuel Characteristic Classification System.

McKenzie, D.; O'Neill, S.M.; Larkin, N.K.; Norheim, R.A. 2006. Integrating models to predict regional haze from wildland fire. Ecological Modelling. 199:278-288.

McKenzie, D., Shankar, U.; Keane, R.E.; Heilman, W.E.; Stavros, E.N.; Fox, D.G.; Riebau, A.C.; Bowden, J.H.; Eberhardt, E.E.; Norheim, R.A. 2013. Smoke consequences of new wildfire regimes in a changing climate. Final report. (12 August 2013).

Team Lead: Don McKenzie

Funding provided by the National Fire Plan.

Disclaimers | FOIAPrivacy Policy | Quality of InformationPrint This Page
USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.