Fire & Smoke Group

Agricultural Field Dust, Eastern California Fire Event, San Jacinto Class I Wilderness Area, California Bay Bridge, San Francisco, California Denali National Park Class I Area, Alaska Los Angeles, California
Fire & Smoke Group

Overview

Both natural, unplanned wildfires and planned, prescribed fire are important air pollution sources in the western United States. For wildfire, the length of the fire season, and the duration and intensity of individual fires are increasing due to the build-up of natural fuels after years of public policy restricting wildfire spread and a warming climate. With a better understanding of the role of natural fire in maintaining the health of natural landscapes, public policy is evolving to balance the need for natural fires with the need for protection of human infrastructure and public health, through application of prescribed fire. Additionally, climate change results in altered weather patterns, shifts in the types and composition of natural landscape communities, and increased threats from biological pests on weakened and transitioning ecosystems. Periodic and sustained drought and pressure to expand human communities into the urban-wildland interface heighten the importance of understanding wildfire in the western United States. In recognition of the increasing contributions of wildfire smoke, in frequency and duration, to ambient air quality, the western states have formed cooperative tracking systems that are the technical basis for improved understanding of smoke from uncontrolled wildfires. This regional interstate cooperation supports preparation of State Implementation Plans (SIPs) for Regional Haze and criteria pollutants, Exceptional Events demonstrations, and annual fire emissions inventories.

The Fire and Smoke Work Group will focus on analysis and planning activities related to improve activity data to support emissions inventories for fire and smoke emissions, begin scoping work to assess present and range of future year contributions of natural sources such as fire, undertake evaluation of Smoke Management Programs, survey and compile information about Exceptional Events assessment efforts, review the treatment of fire and smoke emissions in modeling studies, and improve coordination between state, tribal, and federal agencies. Several of these activities involve close coordination with other WRAP Work Groups as described in the FSWG Workplan.

Responsibilities and Deliverables

In consultation with the Chair or Co-Chairs from the Fire and Smoke Work Group (FSWG), the Technical Steering Committee (TSC) will review and seek Board approval of a written workplan to address and include all the elements for each Work Group, specific to FSWG as described in Section I of the Annual WRAP Workplan. Based on these elements, the FSWG is then charged with creating detailed workplan inputs to the WRAP annual workplan for achieving these objectives.

The FSWG will have conference calls on alternating months to manage activities and provide oversight to WRAP projects. The FSWG will provide inputs to the TSC for an annual WRAP workplan and budget for Board approval, covering technical projects and Work Groups. The FSWG may have meetings identified in the annual workplan. The FSWG Chair or Co-Chairs will plan and direct the calls and meetings, and with assistance from WRAP Staff, take the lead in communications and other necessary TSC and Board interaction.

Work Products Work Group Calls
2018
2018-06-07 2018-05-08