5th Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology and the 2nd International Wildland Fire Ecology and Fire Management Congress

Tuesday, 18 November 2003: 4:30 PM
A comparison of real-time particulate monitors for smoke management
Suraj Ahuja, U.S. Forest Service, Willows, CA; and T. Proctor, P. Padgett, and B. Plymale
The state of California is implementing newly released Title 17 “Smoke Management Guidelines for Agricultural and Prescribed Burning”. The objectives of Title 17 are to provide increased opportunities for burning, minimize public health impacts from smoke, and develop a Statewide Smoke Management Program to comply with the EPA’s Interim Air/Smoke Policy. PM10 is one of the major fire pollutants and is regulated through Federal and State standards to protect public health and welfare. Title 17 requires monitoring of PM10 for larger burns and those that are in proximity to sensitive areas. A useful monitor for measuring PM10 concentrations from smoke has to be reliable, precise, portable, flexible in power requirement and real-time with results comparable to reference monitor.

Recently, various manufacturers have released a wide array of real time monitors for measuring pollutants from industrial sources. These monitors differ in reliability and precision of results especially when applied to smoky conditions. Wildland fire emissions can vary with metrological, vegetative and topographic conditions. There is a need to compare these monitors under different conditions and match them with user’s requirements.

This paper describes and compares various PM10/PM2.5 real time instruments. The information can be used to make a decision in selecting the right monitor for the right job.

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