969 Fueled from Below: Linking Fire, Fuels and Weather to WE-CAN

Wednesday, 9 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Amber Soja, National Institute of Aerospace/NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA; and A. Hudak, S. Prichard, S. Triplett, J. K. Hiers, R. D. Ottmar, and E. V. Fischer

Wildland fire is largely under the control of weather and climate, and extreme fires are increasing, compelling us to improve understanding of the connections between fuels, fire, weather, atmospheric chemistry and smoke transport, which are critical to understanding impacts on air quality, atmospheric chemistry and climate.

To support WE-CAN, we have developed a database of intelligence of the fires tarketed during the WE-CAN campaign, with the goal of linking the precipitant factors that could influence the evolution of smoke plumes, their development, transport and atmospheric chemistry. Specifically, this database includes fire locations and names, fuels burned (ecosystem type and the FCCS fuels), fire weather, remotely sensed (daily fire perimeter maps, fire detections, fire radiative power) and ground-based intelligence (Incident Command Reports)

We endeavor to connect ground conditions (fire emissions) to the plumes sampled by the We-CAN campaign, by collecting information on fuel conditions, fire behavior, duration, fraction of fuel burned, etc. We believe the base information that will be provided by this report coulb be pertinent to exploring and defining the variability in emissions of gases, aerosols and aerosol precursors as they relate to specific fires (size class, surface, intermittent, crown) in unique ecosystems and fuel types under a variety of fire-weather conditions. The fire–relevant data produced by our team is expected to be relevant to the composition and injection height of plumes, air quality and chemistry, and the impact of biomass burning on climate-relevant properties.

We anticipate smoke composition will be variable, dependent on fuel type, amount, structure, combustion environment (specifically those related to flaming vs smoldering combustion), and antecedent weather factors. These base data are critical to addressing research questions related to tropospheric sampling, to distinguish differences from aircraft and space-based observations, and interpreting the degree to which these differences impact regional and global air quality and climate.

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