Impacts of Wildfires on Air Quality and Health
A unique collaboration between air quality and health professionals that will include practical solutions to mitigating the effects of wildfire smoke on humans and our environment.
Recent wildfires have had devastating effects on forest and range land and have caused the destruction of thousands of commercial buildings and residences. The extensive smoke from these fires often reaches great distances into rural communities and urban population centers and creates broad scale impacts on public health.
About the conference
This conference will take an encompassing look at the air quality and public health impacts from wildfires by bringing together experts in multiple disciplines to share information and proposed solutions to mitigate smoke effects. This is a unique opportunity for those dealing with wildfire effects to learn from experts and professionals with recent experience. The conference will benefit land managers, state and local air pollution control agency professionals, public health officials, health care providers, and consultants.
A key goal of this meeting is to inform attendees of the latest tools, concepts and approaches to better understand and protect public health. Presenters will provide the latest research and solutions on these critical topics:
- Understanding Fire Behavior and Forecasting Smoke Movement and Impacts
Federal and state land managers will discuss their strategies for preparing for wildfire, principally in the western U.S. Further discussions will identify the fire weather tools that are used to develop and communicate smoke impact estimates. The role of the Air Resources Advisor in these communications will be highlighted.
- Monitoring and Measuring Smoke Impacts
Experts from agencies with recent direct experience (U.S. Forest Service, California Air Resources Board, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and other local air and health districts) will discuss the capabilities of monitoring methods including mobile, personal, and distributed monitors and the value and limitations of the results.
- Prediction, Prevention, Assessment & Control of Health Impacts of Wildfire Smoke
Health professionals will discuss the effects of smoke on the body, the particular challenges of preventing and controlling hazardous smoke exposure, short and long term effects, the identification of high-risk/vulnerable populations, and experience in taking public health and environmental health actions.
- Collaboration and Communication
The final section of the program will focus on effective collaborative response to wildfire events. Communications between the incident team, emergency services, and responsible air quality and health agencies will be discussed as well as public interactions and ongoing efforts to harmonize communications and to make them effective and consistent.