Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Technology Helps Fire Managers Anticipate Smoke Problems

Date:
September 19, 2003
Source:
USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station
Summary:
Smoke from planned fires and wildfires affects air quality and visibility. Firefighters, forest managers, farmers, motorists, and people with respiratory problems all need accurate and timely information regarding smoke and visibility when fires burn. BlueSkyRAINS is a technology that allows fire professionals and ordinary citizens to coordinate outdoor activities around fire operations.

PORTLAND, Ore. September 15, 2003 -- Smoke from planned fires and wildfires affects air quality and visibility. Firefighters, forest managers, farmers, motorists, and people with respiratory problems all need accurate and timely information regarding smoke and visibility when fires burn. BlueSkyRAINS is a technology that allows fire professionals and ordinary citizens to coordinate outdoor activities around fire operations. It is currently being used daily by incident command teams for about 100 wildfires in the Western States.

"When smoke is generated from a wildland fire, BlueSkyRAINS helps people to determine where the smoke will go and how much of a problem it may be for breathing and visibility," explains Sue Ferguson, an atmospheric scientist based in at the Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station and developer of the modeling system. "BlueSkyRAINS is a technology that allows you to go to one centralized Web site to see the potential accumulation of smoke from planned fires and wildfires. It shows the patterns of predicted smoke concentrations in relation to cities, hospitals, schools, parks, or other elements of interest."

Ferguson, based in Seattle at PNW Research Station's Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory, says her team of scientists began work on this technology in 2000. By 2002 the first prototype was up and running. The first tests began with the Quartz Mountain wildfire complex in the Pasayton Wilderness of the Okanogan National Forest in Washington's northern Cascades.

"We worked with smoke managers, burn bosses, and air regulators for many years prior to developing BlueSkyRAINS," Ferguson says. "As wildfires became larger and more frequent and the use of prescribed fire increased, smoke became an increasingly difficult problem. Smoke doesn't know about fences making it difficult to coordinate across land ownerships. So we came up with the idea of a centralized, automated system."

The BlueSkyRAINS was created by Ferguson and her team by partnering with the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal, state, tribal, and local agencies that share concerns about clean air and healthy forests.

"This summer we worked directly with incident command teams on several wildfires in Washington, Idaho, Montana, and New Mexico. Now we're gearing up to help with the prescribed fire season. This is the first technology that allows everyone to see where planned fires and wildfires are and to see the potential impacts of smoke from those fires," says Ferguson.

Check out the BlueSkyRAINS system at http://www.blueskyrains.org.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. "New Technology Helps Fire Managers Anticipate Smoke Problems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 September 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030918093632.htm>.
USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. (2003, September 19). New Technology Helps Fire Managers Anticipate Smoke Problems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030918093632.htm
USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. "New Technology Helps Fire Managers Anticipate Smoke Problems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030918093632.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Walking, Talking Oil-Drigging Rig

The Walking, Talking Oil-Drigging Rig

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 15, 2014) Pennsylvania-based Schramm is incorporating modern technology in its next generation oil-drigging rigs, making them smaller, safer and smarter. Ernest Scheyder reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

AFP (Apr. 14, 2014) To curb the growing numbers of feral cats in the US capital, the Washington Humane Society is encouraging residents to set traps and bring the animals to a sterilization clinic, after which they are released.. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins