U.S. Joint Fire Science Program


Date of this Version


Document Type



Fire Science Brief, Issue 123, December 2010


US government work.


Management of smoke from prescribed fire activities is important. Consideration must be given to short-term effects of smoke on work crews and neighboring communities. This requires accurate real-time information for smoke forecasting. Tools have been created to help meet these needs of smoke managers for prescribed burns. However, longer-term smoke effects are also important. Managers must meet state and federal regulations for air emissions, and must be aware of projects causing potential violations of National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and reduction in visibility. Both wildfires and prescribed burns can contribute significantly to fine particulate matter (PM) and ozone in the regional atmosphere. This report describes a research project that assists smoke managers in understanding the effects that emissions from prescribed burns can have on ambient particle concentrations and visibility.