J1.1 Integrating air quality tools with the Wildland Fire Decision Support System

Monday, 24 January 2011: 4:00 PM
604 (Washington State Convention Center)
Narasimhan Larkin, USDA Forest Service, Seattle, WA; and M. Rorig, T. Strand, T. J. Brown, S. Raffuse, P. Lahm, and T. Zimmerman

Air quality is a growing concern in wildland fire management, particularly amid decreasing public tolerance for smoke and tightening national standards for particulate matter and ozone. Use of air quality tools within fire management has been hindered by their relative complexity and scattered availability, coupled with a lack of training. The Wildland Fire Decision Support System Air Quality (WFDSS-AQ) portal is an effort to overcome these hurdles and directly incorporate air quality tools into enterprise decision support system in use daily by fire managers, as well as to make the tools available to the broader community and public. The WFDSS-AQ website allows the user to connect to multiple web-based smoke tools using a single site. Included in the portal suite are tools that give pertinent weather, fire, and air quality information. These include fire location, and fuels and fire consumption and emissions models, meteorological mixing height and transport wind climatologies and forecasts, smoke forecasts, and customizable smoke trajectory and dispersion modeling. The scale of smoke information ranges from regional to national and the output is in graphical and textual forms. The WFDSS-AQ portal is designed to provide users with air quality data and customizable modeling capabilities that would otherwise be inaccessible, by providing training and help features, to make this information usable in real-world decisions.
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