You are here: Home / Research Topics / Research Highlights / Individual Highlight

Research Highlights

Individual Highlight

Fire and smoke modeling issues, gaps, and measurement data needs for developing next-generation operational smoke prediction models

Photo of The Oct. 19, 2016, image shows simulated smoke from smoldering combustion near Grand Canyon, Ariz., when vehicle accidents occurred on I-40 approximately 35 km west of Flagstaff, Arizona. The Oct. 19, 2016, image shows simulated smoke from smoldering combustion near Grand Canyon, Ariz., when vehicle accidents occurred on I-40 approximately 35 km west of Flagstaff, Arizona. Snapshot : Smoke from wildland fires is a major natural hazard to air quality and human health. Providing complete and accurate smoke information is essential to prevent and reduce the impacts of such hazards. This study is an effort to develop the next-generation smoke prediction system to improve smoke prediction skills.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Liu, Yongqiang 
Research Location : Athens, GA
Research Station : Southern Research Station (SRS)
Year : 2017
Highlight ID : 1334

Summary

Fire and smoke models are numerical tools for operational smoke prediction systems (OSPS). The Forest Service uses these tools to provide information to the public for potential health hazards due to wildland fire smoke. Land managers also use these tools to plan and implement prescribed burning. The capacity of current OSPS is limited due to the difficulty of modeling complex plume structure, dynamics, and interactions with fire, weather, and canopy. Thus, there is an urgent need for developing next-generation OSPS for fire and smoke management. Forest Service researchers at the agency’s Southern Research Station were leaders in a recent multi-agency research project called the Fire and Smoke Model Evaluation Experiment (FASMEE). The project, funded by the Joint Fire Science Program, aims to provide data for the development of the next-generation OSPS. As part of this project, scientists conducted simulations and experiments to understand model properties and the impacts of field measurement uncertainty. They also identified modeling issues and gaps, measurement data needs for model improvement, and the desired burn conditions that would create the smoke plumes to be simulated. A major conclusion is that high-resolution and dynamical fire behavior and smoke plume processes need to be fully coupled in the development of the next-generation OSPS; and, the comprehensive and coordinated field measurements of fuel, fire behavior, smoke, meteorology, and atmospheric chemistry are the key for developing the coupled capacity.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

 
  • Desert Research Institute, Michigan Technological University