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A transdisciplinary approach to understanding the health effects of wildfire and prescribed fire smoke regimes


Williamson, GJ and Bowman, DMJS and Price, OF and Henderson, SB and Johnston, FH, A transdisciplinary approach to understanding the health effects of wildfire and prescribed fire smoke regimes, Environmental Research Letters, 11 Article 125009. ISSN 1748-9326 (2016) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)

DOI: doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/12/125009


Prescribed burning is used to reduce the occurrence, extent and severity of uncontrolled fires in many flammable landscapes. However, epidemiologic evidence of the human health impacts of landscape fire smoke emissions is shaping fire management practice through increasingly stringent environmental regulation and public health policy. An unresolved question, critical for sustainable fire management, concerns the comparative human health effects of smoke from wild and prescribed fires. Here we review current knowledge of the health effects of landscape fire emissions and consider the similarities and differences in smoke from wild and prescribed fires with respect to the typical combustion conditions and fuel properties, the quality and magnitude of air pollution emissions, and the potential for dispersion to large populations. We further examine the interactions between these considerations, and how they may shape the longer term smoke regimes to which populations are exposed. We identify numerous knowledge gaps and propose a conceptual framework that describes pathways to better understanding of the health trade-offs of prescribed and wildfire smoke regimes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:smoke, wildfire, prescribed fire, health, particulates, pollution
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Forestry sciences
Research Field:Forestry fire management
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Williamson, GJ (Dr Grant Williamson)
UTAS Author:Bowman, DMJS (Professor David Bowman)
UTAS Author:Johnston, FH (Associate Professor Fay Johnston)
ID Code:112981
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:47
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2016-12-07
Last Modified:2017-11-09
Downloads:116 View Download Statistics

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