Smoke Composition from Prescribed and Wildfires and Health

Firefighter and flaming undergrowth

A key issue for this project was to resolve whether smoke from prescribed fires differs from smoke produced by wildfires.

Dr Tina Bell, then at the University of Melbourne, led this project which applied new and existing techniques to measure the contribution of prescribed burns and wildfires to particulate matter, classical pollutants, dioxins, irritants and carcinogens, greenhouse gases, photochemically active gases and ozone-depleting chemicals in smoke emissions.

The project worked towards a system for predicting the concentration and composition of smoke from a given vegetation type and condition. It quantified this in order to assist fire managers to better manage the intensity of a fire to improve the impact from smoke on human health.

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