Critical Review

ACE 2020 Gateway to Innovation, Air & Waste Management Association, June 29-July 2, 2020, San Francisco, CA

The 50th Annual A&WMA Critical Review

Wildfire and Prescribed Burning Impacts on Air Quality in the United States

Lead Author: Dr. Daniel A. Jaffe, Professor & Chair of Physical Sciences Division, University of Washington, School of STEM and Department of Atmospheric Sciences
Daniel A. JaffeDr. Daniel A. Jaffe is a Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry at the University of Washington in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences and in the School of STEM at the University of Washington (UW) Bothell Campus. He is also Chair of the Physical Sciences Division in the School of STEM at UW Bothell. He is an expert on atmospheric chemistry, mercury, ozone, urban and regional smog, and long-range transport of pollutants, and the author of more than 150 peer-reviewed publications on these topics. Dr. Jaffe is widely recognized as an expert on global transport of pollutants, especially transport from Asia to the United States and has several papers on the influence of background sources on regional and urban air quality. Dr. Jaffe’s work has received much recognition, including being named to the National Academy of Sciences’ panel on “Global Sources of Air Pollutants” and receiving the UW Bothell’s first Distinguished Research Award.  He started and is the Principal Investigator for the Mt. Bachelor Observatory in Central Oregon, which is the only high elevation research station on the West Coast.  His research has been supported by the NSF, NOAA, EPA, NASA, NPS, EPRI, API, and other organizations.

Contributing Authors: Susan M. O'Neill, Pacific North West Research Station, U.S. Forest Service; Amara L. Holder, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development; David L. Peterson, University of Washington, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences; Ana Rappold, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency , National Health and Environmental Effects Research Lab; Jessica E. Halofsky, University of Washington, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences

In the 50th Annual A&WMA Critical Review, the authors will cover the topic of fire and air quality. Several factors have recently combined to make this one of the hottest and most important topics in environmental science right now.  This includes our changing climate, the increase presence of humans in forests and wildlands, the increase in population at the wildland-urban interface, and the role of historical fire management. As a result of these factors, wildfires--and the resulting air pollution impacts--are on the rise across the United States. How do wildfires vary in different regions of the United States? What are the direct emissions and the chemical processing of the resulting air pollution? What are the health impacts of smoke, and who is most at risk? What can be done to reduce the health effects? What are the policy implications for communities trying to meet the national air quality standards? How should we manage our forests to provide optimum benefit for all, while minimizing fire risks? Should we try to eliminate fire from our forests and wildlands? Should we use prescribed fires to minimize the risk, and what about the air pollution these generate? These, and other questions, will be considered. This Critical Review team of authors includes the leading experts on these topics, and will cover a full range of issues across the fire/air quality/health perspectives and provide a Critical Review of key uncertainties and unknowns.
The full-length paper will appear in the June 2020 issue of the Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association (JA&WMA) and its conclusions will be presented live as part of the ACE 2020 in San Francisco. Following the review presentation, a panel of invited experts will critique the presentation and offer their own views on the topic. Invited discussants will represent key stakeholder groups, including federal and state environmental, health, and safety agencies; fire management experts; NGOs; community action groups; and academia. Comments also will be solicited from the floor during a live Q & A sequence to end the session. To complete the review process, the Critical Review Committee Chair will synthesize all of the discussion points into a Discussion Paper that will be published in the October 2020 issue of JA&WMA.

About the Critical Review
For 50 years, A&WMA has solicited and published in the Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association (JA&WMA) an Annual Critical Review on a topic of critical importance to the air and waste management fields. Each year, the review author presents the Critical Review during A&WMA’s Annual Conference & Exhibition. The Critical Review Committee selects the review topics, solicits the authors/presenters, offers editorial guidance and critiques, reviews the final manuscript before publication, and selects the participants for the panel discussion that follows the presentation.

Complete list of past Critical Reviews
A&WMA Critical Review Committee Charter and Manual of Operations