The U.S. Forest Service has developed the interagency Wildland Fire Air Quality Response Program to better communicate risks of air quality to the public during wildfires.
A press release from the Forest Service explains how the program will utilize air resource advisors (ARA), who are “technical specialists in air quality and smoke dispersion science.” They will be dispatched to wildfires to assess impacts on public health and safety.
The advisors set up equipment to collect real-time data that is later analyzed by incident management teams, local agencies, tribes, as well as the public.
Incident Commander Brian Kitchen states, “ARAs play a crucial role in public and fire personnel health and safety. This important support provides information to the incident management teams necessary to perform firefighting operations and helps educate partner agencies and people in our communities.”
To learn more, visit https://www.wildlandfiresmoke.net/.
For information on assessing air quality during a wildfire, visit https://nmfireinfo.com/smoke-management/.