Smoke incursions into urban areas: simulation of a Georgia prescribed burn

  • Authors: Liu, Y.; Goodrick, S.; Achtemeier, G.
  • Publication Year: 2009
  • Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
  • Source: International Journal of Wildland Fire 18: 336-348


This study investigates smoke incursion into urban areas by examining a prescribed burn in central Georgia,
USA, on 28 February 2007. Simulations were conducted with a regional modeling framework to understand transport, dispersion,
and structure of smoke plumes, the air quality effects, sensitivity to emissions, and the roles of burn management
strategy in mitigating the effects.The results indicate that smoke plumes firstwentwest, but turned north-west at noon owing
to a shift in wind direction. The smoke then invaded metropolitan Atlanta during the evening rush hour. The plumes caused
severe air quality problems in Atlanta. Some hourly ground PM
concentrations at three metropolitanAtlanta locationswere three to four times as high as the daily (24-h)USNationalAmbientAir
Quality Standard.The simulated shift in the smoke transport direction and the resultant effects on air quality are supported
by the satellite and ambient air measurements. Two sensitivity simulations indicate a nearly linear relation between
the emission intensities and PM
residents of Atlanta during the evening commute could have been reduced if the starting time of the burn had been altered.

  • Citation: Liu, Y., Goodrick, S., Achtemeier, G., Jackson, W.A., Qu, J.J., Wang, W. 2009. Smoke incursions into urban areas: simulation of a Georgia prescribed burn. International Journal of Wildland Fire 18: 336-348.
  • Posted Date: October 20, 2009
  • Modified Date: November 2, 2009
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