1.3 An evaluation of a smoke emissions and transport pathway in the BlueSky Smoke Modeling Framework using observations from a prescribed burn

Monday, 24 January 2011: 11:45 AM
3A (Washington State Convention Center)
Tara Strand, New Zealand Forest Research Institute Limited, Rotorua, WA, New Zealand; and M. Rorig, B. Lamb, C. Clements, R. Mickler, H. Thistle, E. Allwine, X. Bian, C. Krull, R. Grivicke, N. Larkin, P. O'Keefe, D. Seto, R. Solomon, and K. Yedinak

A prescribed burn was done on The Nature Conservancy's Calloway Forest/Sandhills Preserve to achieve land management objectives and to provide observation data to evaluate how to best model fire emissions and smoke dispersion from low intensity burns. Prescribed burning is an important management tool used by land managers to achieve fire hazard reduction and ecosystem health objectives. Considerable prescribed burning is done in the Southeastern United States and smoke from these low intensity burns can negatively affect local communities. To avoid this, prior to their burn, land managers use smoke modeling tools to assess potential impacts on downwind communities. To better understand how to model smoke emissions and transport from low intensity prescribed burns observations of fuel availability, fire consumption, meteorology, under-canopy turbulence, and smoke transport and dispersion were made in and outside the Calloway research burn. Fuel loadings were measured prior to and after the burn to determine the fuel availability, type, moisture, and consumption. Three towers, two inside the burn unit and one outside were instrumented to measure the three components of the wind, temperature, and trace-gasses. Carbon monoxide sensors deployed in and outside the burn unit along with PM2.5 monitors deployed outside the unit recorded the presence or absence of smoke. Concentrations of tracer gas (SF6), released through a line in the burn unit, were measured outside the unit in both the vertical and horizontal planes. These data confirm the presence of the smoke plume and were used to provide emission estimates of carbon monoxide. Radiosonde and SODAR data were collected to assess the vertical structure of the atmosphere, and a LICOR was used to observe smoke plume height. Model evaluation was done using the BlueSky Smoke Modeling Framework, which contains many different emissions and dispersion modeling pathways, emphasis was on the FCCS-CONSUME3.0-FEPS-CALPUFF pathway because this was used to predict smoke impacts at the time of the burn. We present observations, modeling results, and results from the model to observations comparisons and evaluation.
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