Member NASA Health and Air Quality Applied Sciences Team

Wildfires produce large-scale and significant smoke impacts each year. Widespread smoke impacts have crashed 911 systems, caused large traffic accidents, been responsible for fire fighter fatalities, and resulted in increased respiratory and heart symptoms that increase prescription medication use, hospital visits, and even lead to premature death.

2017 Northern California Wildfires Tiger Team

As a member of the NASA Health and Air Quality Applied Sciences Team (HAQAST, https://haqast.org/) our objective is to facilitate the adoption and use of earth observations directly into the decisions, communications and response of wildfire Incident Command Teams and local public health agencies during wildfire smoke events (Figure 1).

How: We are the primary science advisors to the interagency U.S. Wildland Fire Air Quality Response Program (WFAQRP, https://www.wildlandfiresmoke.net/) and work directly with WFAQRP Air Resource Advisors (ARAs), technical specialists focused on smoke that serve as part of fire incident and regional command structures, to enable their communication with local public health agencies in creating public smoke advisories and guidance.

Funding provided by NASA

diagram of smoke info flow during wildfire incidents