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Wildland Fire Research to Protect Health and the Environment

monitoring balloonResearchers lift a monitoring balloon to track smoke from a prescribed fire in Camp Lejeune, N.CThe west and other parts of the US have experienced significant forest fires in recent years. These fires have been devastating to infrastructure, yet there is limited knowledge of the human health impacts of smoke emissions —both short term and long term. EPA is using its expertise in air quality research to fill the gaps in scientific information and to develop tools to prevent and reduce the impact of smoke from wildfires and controlled or prescribed burns. The wildland fire research has three main goals:

  • Provide new science to understand the impacts of smoke on health, and how this knowledge can instruct smoke management practices and intervention strategies to reduce health impacts. 
  • Provide data on smoke emissions to construct the national emission inventory used to understand air quality across the country.
  • Improve understanding of how smoke from fires affects air quality and climate change.