A Review of Community Smoke Exposure from
Wildﬁre Compared to Prescribed Fire in the
Kathleen M. Navarro 1, *, Don Schweizer 2,3, John R. Balmes 4and Ricardo Cisneros 2
1United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Paciﬁc Southwest Region, Fire and Aviation
Management, 1600 Tollhouse Rd., Clovis, CA 93611, USA
2School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts, University of California, Merced, CA 95340, USA;
firstname.lastname@example.org (D.S.); email@example.com (R.C.)
3United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Paciﬁc Southwest Region, Fire and Aviation
Management, Bishop, CA 93514, USA
4Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of California,
Berkeley, CA 94720, USA; firstname.lastname@example.org
*Correspondence: email@example.com; Tel.: +1-408-644-0186
Received: 30 March 2018; Accepted: 9 May 2018; Published: 12 May 2018
Prescribed ﬁre, intentionally ignited low-intensity ﬁres, and managed wildﬁres—wildﬁres
that are allowed to burn for land management beneﬁt—could be used as a land management tool to
create forests that are resilient to wildland ﬁre. This could lead to fewer large catastrophic wildﬁres
in the future. However, we must consider the public health impacts of the smoke that is emitted
from wildland and prescribed ﬁre. The objective of this synthesis is to examine the differences
in ambient community-level exposures to particulate matter (PM
) from smoke in the United
States in relation to two smoke exposure scenarios—wildﬁre ﬁre and prescribed ﬁre. A systematic
search was conducted to identify scientiﬁc papers to be included in this review. The Web of Science
Core Collection and PubMed, for scientiﬁc papers, and Google Scholar were used to identify any
grey literature or reports to be included in this review. Sixteen studies that examined particulate
matter exposure from smoke were identiﬁed for this synthesis—nine wildland ﬁre studies and seven
prescribed ﬁre studies. PM
concentrations from wildﬁre smoke were found to be signiﬁcantly
lower than reported PM
concentrations from prescribed ﬁre smoke. Wildﬁre studies focused on
assessing air quality impacts to communities that were nearby ﬁres and urban centers that were far
from wildﬁres. However, the prescribed ﬁre studies used air monitoring methods that focused on
characterizing exposures and emissions directly from, and next to, the burns. This review highlights
a need for a better understanding of wildﬁre smoke impact over the landscape. It is essential for
properly assessing population exposure to smoke from different ﬁre types.
Keywords: wildﬁre; prescribed ﬁre; smoke; particulate matter; public health; exposure
Wildfire has long been an important ecological process of our natural world, only requiring three
ingredients—fuel, oxygen, and heat [
]. Prior to European settlement, many forests in the United States
were historically shaped by wildfires [
]. Native Americans historically used wildfire as a vegetation
management tool to increase density of edible plants, provide material for basketry, and control insects
and plant diseases [
]. Historically, in the Western US, frequent fires of low severity burned on the forest
floor and resulted in coniferous forests that are more vulnerable to the effects of fire [
]. In California,
Atmosphere 2018,9, 185; doi:10.3390/atmos9050185 www.mdpi.com/journal/atmosphere
Atmosphere 2018,9, 185 2 of 11
Stephens et al. (2007) estimated that during the prehistoric period wildland fires emitted 47 billion
kilograms of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) annually .
Prescribed ﬁre; planned and intentionally ignited low-intensity ﬁres, and managed wildﬁres;
wildﬁres that are allowed to burn for land management beneﬁt, could be used to treat the abundance of
fuel in forests and restore ﬁre-adapted landscapes across a larger area [
]. However, smoke-caused air
quality impacts and compliance to air quality regulations can be an impediment to the use of prescribed
ﬁre, and the public health impacts of the smoke that is emitted from wildﬁre and prescribed ﬁre must
be considered [
]. Wildﬁre smoke can contain ﬁne to inhalable particulate matter (PM
acrolein, benzene, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, crystalline silica, total particulates,
and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) [
]. Individuals can be exposed occupationally, if they
work as wildland ﬁreﬁghters, or from ambient air that is contaminated with smoke from a nearby or
distant wildﬁre .
Past health studies of wildﬁre exposure have generally examined the relationship between
exposure to PM
from wildﬁre smoke and associated adverse health outcomes [
]. Fine particulate
matter is derived primarily from combustion and can absorb and retain toxic substances, such as
volatile and semi-volatile organics (PAHs and quinones), transition metals, reactive gases (ozone and
aldehydes), and sulfate and nitrate particles [
]. Particulate matter can be deposited in the human
respiratory tract through three main mechanisms—impaction, sedimentation, and diffusion [
Inhalable particles with diameters of 0.5 to 2
m are deposited in the respiratory tract through
sedimentation. Larger particles, usually up to 10
m in diameter, are deposited in the respiratory
tract through inertial impaction, whereas smaller particles <0.5
m are deposited though diffusional
]. Fine particulate matter can be deposited in respiratory bronchioles and alveolar regions
where gas exchange occurs in the human lung [
]. There is evidence that PM
can cause adverse
health outcomes through multiple biological mechanisms, such as increased local lung oxidative stress
and inﬂammation, leading to acute and chronic respiratory effects; the lung inﬂammatory responses
can spill over into systemic circulation contributing to acute and cardiovascular effects [15–18].
Although there are many epidemiological studies that have provided evidence of adverse health
outcomes associated with long and short-term exposure to PM
in urban environments, there are
fewer studies examining health outcomes and exposures to PM
from wildﬁre smoke. It is important
to study exposures to PM
from wildﬁre smoke, as the chemical composition of PM
smoke can differ from that of urban sources of PM
]. Previous studies have suggested that PM
from wildﬁre smoke causes adverse respiratory health effects and possibly increased mortality and
cardiovascular health effects [
]. A recent systematic review of health impacts from wildﬁre smoke
by Reid et al. (2016) found evidence that wildﬁre smoke was associated with respiratory morbidity,
including exacerbations of symptoms of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. There was
some evidence, not conclusive, that wildﬁre smoke exposure is associated with respiratory infections
and all-cause mortality [
]. Additionally, there are a few studies that found associations between
wildﬁre smoke exposure and adverse birth outcomes, such as low-birth weight; however, these studies
were limited and do not provide conclusive evidence. Holstius et al. (2012) demonstrated that average
birth weight was slightly reduced among infants that were in utero during the 2003 Southern California
]. Fann et al. (2018), estimated that wildﬁre events affected additional premature deaths
and respiratory hospital admissions in Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, northern California, Oregon and
Idaho. Additionally, the short and long term economic value of exposure to wildﬁre events were $63
and $450 billion (in present value), respectively .
Smoke from wildﬁre is inevitable, particularly in ﬁre prone ecosystems. Exposure to smoke can
to some extent be controlled by suppression and other anthropogenic actions. Historically, in the
United States, full suppression has been utilized in an attempt to eliminate smoke and ﬁre from the
]. The understanding that this practice is unsustainable has led to increased interest in
using ﬁre on the landscape to improve ecological health [
]. Human health is intrinsically coupled to
Atmosphere 2018,9, 185 3 of 11
ecological health, but this relation is confounded by smoke exposure [
]. Understanding relative risk
from ﬁre management actions is essential to informed protection of public health.
The objective of this synthesis is to examine the differences in ambient community-level exposures
from smoke in the United States from two smoke exposure scenarios—wildﬁre and prescribed ﬁre.
Several key questions will be addressed: (1) What are the PM
concentration differences between
prescribed ﬁre and wildﬁre smoke exposures? (2) How do PM
concentrations from each exposure
scenario compare to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)? (3) How long are
communities exposed to PM
during each exposure scenario? This synthesis will provide public
health practitioners, air quality regulators, and natural resource managers with more information on
the exposure differences of smoke exposure from wildﬁre compared with prescribed ﬁre. Ultimately,
this information can be used to understand and quantify the health risks associated with smoke
exposure from wildﬁre compared with prescribed ﬁre.
2. Materials and Methods
A systematic search was conducted to identify scientiﬁc papers from peer-reviewed journals to be
included in this review. The systematic search followed the Guidelines for Systematic Review and
Evidence Synthesis in Environmental Management .
The Web of Science Core Collection and PubMed, for scientiﬁc papers, and Google Scholar were
used to identify any grey literature or reports to be included in this review. The search strategy used
the following search terms—wildﬁre, wildland ﬁre, prescribed ﬁre, grass ﬁre, peat ﬁre, prescribed
managed ﬁre, prescribed natural ﬁre and smoke, exposure assessment, air quality. For each search that
was performed, we recorded the search date, search terms that were used, database that was searched,
and titles that were returned from the search.
The synthesis was restricted to scientiﬁc papers that met the following inclusion criteria: (1) studies
that were conducted in the United States and (2) reported PM
concentrations during speciﬁc
wildﬁre or prescribed ﬁre events. Studies were appraised for the quality of the methods used for
air monitoring or modeling used for concentration estimation. Studies that reported only PM
occupational exposures during a wildﬁre or prescribed ﬁre event were not included.
The systematic search resulted in 271 journal articles from PubMed, with 229 unique titles,
and 2023 journal articles from Web of Science, with 1093 unique titles (Figure 1). Once merged,
there were 1449 unique scientiﬁc journal articles. Next, we reviewed the journal titles and selected
79 relevant articles. During the title review, reasons for articles to be excluded included: (1) were not
conducted in the United States; (2) indicated a focus on developing models to estimate PM
source apportionment, or plumes; (3) conducted an occupational exposure study; (4) measured other
air contaminants; (5) indicated that they were conducted in a laboratory. Of the selected articles,
we reviewed their abstracts for extractable information that was relevant to the synthesis objectives.
Based on the information provided in the abstracts, such as study methods and results, we selected
the article to be further reviewed by reading the full article (N= 34). Sixteen peer-reviewed scientiﬁc
journal articles met the study criteria and were included in this synthesis.
From each selected journal article, information was extracted and inputted into a table for
comparison and analysis (Table 1). Extracted data from each article included: information on the
wildﬁre or prescribed ﬁre event name and date range, reported concentration mean and range, number
of reported days that exceeded the NAAQS 24-h standard (PM
number of days sampled, the data source of the reported concentrations, and what type of average
concentration average or sampling time was used for each study.
Atmosphere 2018,9, 185 4 of 11
Figure 1. Flow diagram of study selection.
Atmosphere 2018,9, 185 5 of 11
Table 1. Characteristics of included studies and answers to synthesis objectives.
Study Event Location and Name, (Dates) Fire Size
PM2.5 Concentration (µg m−3)NAAQS
# of Days
Sampled Data Source Sampling Time
Ward and Smith 2005  Montana Missoula Fire Season (8/13 and 8/25/2000) - 39.9 and 42.2 Not Reported 2 days 2 Monitor 24 h Average
Ward et al. 2006 cMontana Missoula Wildﬁres (8/14–8/18/2003) - 87.5 46–136.8 7 days 4Monitor 24 h Average
Montana Missoula Wildﬁres (8/31–9/2/2003) - 54 37–69 3
Viswanathan et al. 2006  California Cedar, Paradise and Otay Fires (10/26–11/4/2003)
Not reported Max-104.6,
170 2 days 10 Monitor 24 h Average
Herron-Thorpe et al. 2010 Paciﬁc Northwest Wildﬁres (7/3–8/22/2007) - 16.8 Not reported 10 days 51 Model 24 h Average
Paciﬁc Northwest Wildﬁres (6/22–8/27/2007) - 15.9 Not reported 19 days 67
Strand et al. 2011 d
Idaho Frank Church Fire (8/11–9/14/2005) 22,194 2–22 8–244 3 days
13–77 Monitor Hourly Average
Washington Tripod Fire (7/24/2006–Mid Oct/2006) 70,820 3–69 49–1659 47 days
Region-ﬁre wide event Western MT (8/2007–Mid Oct/2007) - 3–57 21–575 11 days
Region-ﬁre wide event Northern CA(6/21/2008–9/2007) - 4–95 28–472 40 days
Schweizer and Cisneros 2014  California Lion Fire (7/8–9/7/2011) 8370 7.7–20.1 Max-166.7 0 days 62 Monitor 24 h Average
Burley et al. 2016 
California Aspen Fire (7/22–8/11/2013) 9227 41.5 11.7–92.7 13 days 20
Monitor 24 h Average
California Rim Fire (8/17–10/24/2013) 104,131 8.7 1.3–69.9 2 days 49
California French Fire (7/28–8/17/2014) 5202 14.4 7.9–21.9 0 days 20
California King Fire (9/13–10/9/2014) 39,546 6.6 1.6–27.8 0 days 26
Navarro et al. 2016  California Rim Fire (8/17–10/24/2013) 104,131 6–121 1–450 Not Reported 49 Monitor 24 h Average
Zu et al 2016 Quebec Wildﬁres-Impacts in Boston (7/7–7/16/2002) - 23 4.1–64.5 Not Reported 28 Monitor 24 h Average
Quebec Wildﬁres-Impacts in New York City (7/7–7/16/2002) - 25.2–27.3 4.8–84.2 Not Reported 28
Prescribed Fire Events
Robinson et al. 2004 Arizona (Flaming Phase Samples) Oct/Nov 2001–2002 20–80 Not reported 523–6459 Not Reported 6Monitor 1.5–2 h Samples
Arizona (Smoldering Phase Samples) Oct/Nov 2001–2002 155–904 6 4–51 h Samples
Lee et al. 2005  Georgia Prescribed Burn (4/15 and 16, 4/28 and 29/2004) 82–154 1810 Not Reported Not Reported 4 Monitor Total Average
Naeher et al. 2006,
Achtemeier et al. 2006 [41,42]
Georgia Non-chipped plot (2/13/2003) 1 519.9 13.6–805.7 Not Reported 1 Monitor 12 h Average
Georgia Chipped plot (2/12/2003) 1 198.1 94.3–300.3 Not Reported 1 Monitor 12 h Average
Hu et al. 2008  Prescribed Fire impacts on Atlanta (2/28/2007) 1200 37.8 NA 1 day 1 Model 24 h Average
Robinson et al. 2011 Northern Arizona Broadcast Burns (2001–2007) 10–40 2800 523–8357 Not Reported 15 Monitor 1–3 h Samples
Northern Arizona Pile Burns (2001–2007) 3000 Not Reported 6
Pearce et al. 2012  South Carolina Savannah River Site Burns (2003–2007) 10–1111 74.01 5.69–1415.96 Not Reported 55 Monitor 22 h Average
Fire size is reported for studies that examined speciﬁc ﬁre events;
Days that were reported to be above the US EPA NAAQS for PM
Ward et al., (2006) [
monitoring concentration data to estimate PM
Strand et al. (2011) [
] reported hourly median and maximum concentration, and these values are used in place of
the concentration mean and range, respectively. PM: particulate matter; NAAQS: National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
Atmosphere 2018,9, 185 6 of 11
The systematic review identiﬁed 16 studies that characterized exposures to PM
and prescribed ﬁre events (Table 1). Generally, studies directly measured PM
with existing air monitoring networks or temporary monitoring stations placed in communities
that were deployed speciﬁcally for ﬁre events. Although there were studies that attempted to model
concentrations of PM
from wildﬁre or prescribed ﬁre smoke, they did not report PM
associated with a speciﬁc ﬁre event and did not meet the inclusion criteria.
The systematic search identiﬁed nine scientiﬁc studies that examined exposure to PM
wildﬁre smoke. The studies covered a wide geographic area and were focused on wildﬁres that
occurred in California, Montana, the Paciﬁc Northwest, and Canada that impacted major cities in
the United States. The selected papers reported PM
concentrations from several large wildﬁres
(region-wide events), occurring at one period or during speciﬁc wildﬁre events. For example,
Ward et al. (2006)
concentrations in Missoula, Montana, while 298,172 ha burned
throughout all of Montana .
In the ﬁve studies that examined the impacts of speciﬁc wildﬁre events, the wildﬁres ranged in
size from 5202 to 113,424 ha for the French and Cedar ﬁres in California, respectively. Only three studies
reported where the PM
monitors were located in relation to the ﬁre events. Strand et al. (2011) [
deployed monitors in local communities and small towns, at a minimum of 12 to 36 km from the
ﬁre locations in Idaho, Washington, Western Montana, and Northern California.
Navarro et al. (2016)
and Schweizer et al. (2014) [
] both used permanent and temporary monitors that were located
7–189 km from the Rim Fire and 16.6–242.8 km from the Lion Fire, respectively.
Eight studies that were selected used direct air monitoring methods to assess PM
while Herron-Thorpe et al. (2010) [
] used a modeling approach to estimate PM
from speciﬁc wildﬁre events during 2007 in the Paciﬁc Northwest. From the data extracted from
the studies, we focused on comparing studies that used the same averaging time (24 h average) to
calculate a mean and range of PM
concentrations. Mean PM
concentrations from wildﬁres ranged
from 8.7 to 121
, with a 24 h maximum concentration of 1659
. The 2013 Rim Fire
and 2003 Montana Fires reported the highest mean PM
concentrations of 121 and 86.5
]. On average, PM
concentrations from wildﬁres were sampled and reported for
30 days; events ranged from 2 to 77 days. During wildﬁre events, the number of days that exceeded
the NAAQS ranged from 2 to 47 days and averaged 11 days. The PM
concentrations from the Tripod
Fire smoke in Eastern Washington resulted in 47 days that were above the NAAQS .
Seven scientiﬁc studies were identiﬁed that measured exposure to PM
at prescribed ﬁres
in Arizona, Georgia and South Carolina. Six studies used air monitoring equipment to measure
concentrations, while one study Hu et al. (2008) [
] simulated PM
ﬁre and atmospheric conditions from a speciﬁc prescribed ﬁre event. Almost all sampled prescribed
ﬁres were performed as broadcast burns, where ﬁre was applied directly across a predetermined
area and was conﬁned to that space. One sampled prescribed ﬁre was conducted as a pile burn
operation, where only piles of cut vegetation are ignited and burned [
]. Naeher et al. (2006) and
Achtemeier et al. (2006) [40,41]
concentrations from the same prescribed ﬁre event
where researchers examined the effects of mechanical chipping on smoke measurements. The size of
the prescribed ﬁres ranged from 1 to 1200 ha, with the largest event being two adjacent prescribed ﬁres
in the Southeast United States, outside of Atlanta (Hu et al., 2008) .
Generally, the prescribed ﬁre air sampling occurred during the burn operation and monitors were
placed inside or next to the ﬁre perimeter. For example, Robinson et al. (2011) [
] placed monitors next
to the ﬁre perimeter on Day 1 of sampling and inside the ﬁre perimeter on Day 2 to capture emissions
during the smolder phase of the ﬁre. Naeher et al. (2006) and Achtemeier et al. (2006) [
placed monitors inside the prescribed ﬁre and along the ﬁre perimeter on the downwind side of the
prescribed ﬁre burn unit. Pearce et al. (2012) [
] measured concentrations using a grid of 18 monitors
that were placed 10–12 km on the downwind side of the prescribed ﬁre burn unit.
Hu et al. (2008) 
Atmosphere 2018,9, 185 7 of 11
was the only study to report PM
concentrations from a prescribed ﬁre in an urban center—Atlanta,
Georgia—which was 80 km from the prescribed ﬁre.
Reported mean concentration of PM
from the selected studies ranged from 37.8
in Atlanta, Georgia, to 3000
at a prescribed ﬁre in Arizona [
]. Additionally, the same
prescribed ﬁre in Arizona during the ﬂaming phase produced the highest maximum PM
concentration of 8357
]. Only Hu et al. (2008) [
] examined the impacts of a prescribed ﬁre
on NAAQS exceedances and reported that one day exceeded the NAAQS (24 h mean =
37.8 µg m−3
during the prescribed ﬁre event. Unlike the wildﬁre studies that generally used a consistent averaging
time (24 h), prescribed ﬁre studies averaged concentration over many different time periods. Averaging
times ranged from 1.5–2 h samples to a four-day total average.
Due to differences in study objectives and methodology, PM
concentrations from wildﬁre smoke
were found to be lower than reported PM
concentrations from prescribed ﬁre smoke. Although the
acres burned on wildﬁres was up to 100 times larger, monitoring location, distance and concentration
averaging time was shown to have an impact on the reported PM
concentrations. Wildﬁre studies
focused on assessing air quality impacts to communities that were close to the ﬁre (for example
12–36 km) and urban centers that were far from the wildﬁre. However, prescribed ﬁre studies used
air monitoring methods that focused on characterizing PM
exposures and emissions directly from,
and next to, the burns site.
Wildﬁre and prescribed ﬁre smoke exposure, similar to other emissions, is dependent on proximity
to the source. Wildﬁre studies that were examined measured smoke at locations that ranged from
7 to 242.8 km from the wildﬁres, while prescribed locations ranged from next to the burn perimeter
(0 km) and up to 80 km away from the burn. The dependence on proximity and smoke direction
was demonstrated by Burley et al. (2016) [
], showing that megaﬁres, such as the Rim and King
ﬁres, largely missed their monitoring site due to smoke plume direction, while the smaller and closer
Aspen Fire transported more directly and had the highest exposure impacts at Devils Postpile National
Monument. Hu et al. (2008) [
] was the only prescribed ﬁre study identiﬁed that assessed the air
quality impact from PM
to a large urban area. The 24-h PM
concentration in an urban area (Atlanta,
Ga) that was estimated from this prescribed burn was 37.8
and in the range of the measured
wildﬁre concentrations. In addition, the distance of the burn (80 km) was also similar to the monitor
distance for wildﬁres.
The selected wildﬁre studies largely reported PM
mean concentrations that were generally
averaged over a 24 h time period. However, the prescribed ﬁre studies reported mean concentrations
that were sampled over time periods ranging from 1–96 h. The short duration prescribed ﬁre sampling
events resulted in mean concentrations (198.1–3000
) that were higher than the prescribed ﬁres
that reported 22–24 h average PM
). The shorter prescribed ﬁre
sampling events captured the periods of higher smoke emissions, while the longer averaging time for
wildﬁre studies resulted in lower mean PM2.5 concentrations.
Wildﬁre exposures are often episodic and short-term, but if they happen often, over a course
of a ﬁre season over many years, they could be considered long-term exposures. From the studies
that were reviewed, the wildﬁre events that were included occurred over multiple weeks and months,
while the prescribed ﬁre events occurred over a few days. The duration of an event is important
to consider because the longer exposure durations can lead to higher cumulative exposures to air
This review highlights the lack of consistent information about exposures to PM
smoke, especially from prescribed ﬁres. Monitoring for prescribed ﬁre was more focused on capturing
the smoke emission directly next to the ﬁre and not downstream from the burn, while wildﬁre
studies either used existing urban sites and/or monitored for sensitive receptors. There were many
studies identiﬁed during the initial search that have assessed smoke from wildﬁres or prescribed ﬁres,
Atmosphere 2018,9, 185 8 of 11
but there were few studies that directly reported concentrations of PM
to meet the inclusion criteria.
Characterization of PM
air quality impacts to communities from prescribed ﬁre smoke is needed to
better understand how PM
exposures are different compared to those of wildﬁres. Prescribed ﬁre
exposure studies should be designed to examine emissions directly from the burn but also consider
and measure the impacts on downwind communities. Additionally, one could use an area of the
United States that is prone to frequent wildﬁres and estimate exposure through modeling from recent
speciﬁc wildﬁres and prescribed ﬁres to examine exposure differences. This approach was suggested
by Baker et al. (2016), as it would lead to better model inputs for ﬁre size and emissions, and could be
validated against an existing monitoring network [
]. An additional approach that could be used
would be a health impact assessment used by Fann et al (2018) [
] to estimate the incidence and
economic value of human health impacts attributable to wildﬁre smoke compared to prescribed ﬁre
smoke . Lastly, improved exposure estimates could be used to quantify the risk of adverse health
effects from each of these different exposure scenarios .
Destructive wildﬁres have higher rates of biomass consumption and have greater potential
to expose more people to smoke than prescribed ﬁres. Naturally ignited ﬁres that are allowed to
self-regulate can provide the best scenario for ecosystem health and long-term air quality. Generally,
prescribed ﬁre smoke is much more localized, and the smoke plumes tend to stay within the canopy,
which absorbs some of the pollutants, reducing smoke exposure. Land managers want to utilize
prescribed ﬁre as a land management tool to restore ﬁre-adapted landscapes. Thus, additional work is
needed to understand the differences in exposures and public health impacts of smoke of prescribed
ﬁre compared to wildﬁre. One way to do this would be for managers to collaborate with air quality
departments (internal to agency or external) to monitor PM
concentrations in communities near a
Consistent monitoring strategies for all wildland ﬁres, whether prescribed or naturally occurring,
are needed to allow the most robust comparative analysis. Currently, prescribed ﬁre monitoring is
often focused on capturing the area of highest impact or characterizing ﬁre emissions, while wildﬁre
monitoring often relies on urban monitors supplemented by temporary monitoring of communities of
concern. A better understanding of smoke impact over the landscape and related impacts is essential
for properly assessing population exposure to smoke from different ﬁre types.
This research was funded by United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Paciﬁc Southwest
Research Station: #A17-0121-001.
We would like to thank Penny Morgan for feedback on an earlier draft of this review.
This work was supported by the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Paciﬁc Southwest
Research Station (#A17-0121-001). The manuscript reﬂects solely the opinion of the authors and not of the
Conﬂicts of Interest: The authors declare no conﬂicts of interest.
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