A prescription for controlling the air pollution resulting from the use of prescribed biomass fire: clouds
Lawrence F. Radke, Darold E. Ward and Philip J. Riggan
International Journal of Wildland Fire
10(2) 103 - 111
Forestry, conservation, wildfire risk reduction, and agricultural uses of planned or prescribed fires as a tool for meeting the needs of wildland managers are increasingly in collision at the air pollution control and climate change cross-roads. The inevitable conflict resulting from the disparate goals of users has long been the subject of a combination of both systems and ecologically integrated analysis attempting to minimize the environmental impact and maximize the economic and societal benefits of this land management technique. We offer here experimental evidence for the viability of implementing a pollution control option that could substantially reduce the particulate emissions from prescribed fires in biomass and explore some of the logical implications of these concepts.
In nature, clouds and precipitation are the principal mechanisms by which the atmosphere is cleansed of particulate pollution, aerosols and smokes. We propose here, for consideration, using clouds as a part of the prescription for scheduling biomass fires.
Since in most areas biomass fire is already carried out within a detailed prescriptive plan which includes meteorological forecasts, the addition of additional meteorological scheduling constraints should be acceptable to most users providing that the benefits are correspondingly large. Reducing particulate smoke emissions in all size classes by at least 50% seems practicable.
Full text doi:10.1071/WF01020
© IAWF 2001