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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. Research activities include:

  • Study health effects of smoke and evaluate potential solutions to reduce impacts
  • Improve methods to measure smoke emissions, and improve models that predict smoke exposure
  • Investigate effects of erosion from burned areas on water quality 
  • Identify and help protect susceptible human populations and ecosystems
  • Evaluate communication strategies to find effective ways to reduce risks

Research Areas

Research Highlights and Activities

Publications and Other Science Resources

Smoke Sense Study and App