Smoke modeling


Use of online smoke screening tools is highly recommended when planning a burn. These tools could help land managers to predict where and how smoke could disperse, and to determine whether burning should occur and to what extent it could occur to avoid air quality problems. More sophisticated emission estimation and modeling tools are being developed for better smoke management related to prescribed fires and they are summarized in the following Table. Smoke modeling tools takes into account the weather conditions along with fuels information to evaluate smoke effects of prescribed pasture burning and the resulting concentrations of air pollutants to avoid exceedances of air quality standards. With the continued lowering of air quality standards, the need for further refinements of these tools continues to increase, and it will be imperative that better tools are utilized to support better air quality and smoke decision making.

Emission estimation and modeling tools for better smoke management

Smoke screening tools

SHRMC Simple smoke screening tool: a simple, easy-to-use application that relies on google maps to highlight the smoke impact area of concern downwind from a fire.



KDHE Smoke Management Plan Modeling Tool: A web-based tools that can be used to predict plume variability and provide burn guidance by county for the “next” two days.

Fuel consumption and emission models

CONSUME: a software tool for computing fuel consumption for forest, shrub and grasslands.



Fire Emission Production Simulator (FEPS): a tool for calculating fuel consumption, emissions, and heat release characteristics of prescribed burns.



The Satellite Mapping Automated Reanalysis Tool for Fire Incident Reconciliation (SMARTFIRE): a database system that combines satellite fire data and ground-based reports into a unified GIS database, which can be coupled with other models that estimate biomass burned to characterize emissions.

Smoke dispersion models

Smoke Impact Spreadsheet (SIS): a simple-to-use planning model for calculating particulate matter emissions and downwind concentrations.



Simple Approach Smoke Estimation Model (SASEM): a simple and self-contained smoke dispersion model.



VSMOKE: a model that estimates downwind concentrations of particulate matter at 31 fixed distances.



CALPUFF: a Gaussian puff dispersion model used to model a variety of pollutant source emissions. It has a module that uses the heat released information from a fire to calculate plume rise.

Regional smoke modeling systems

BlueSKY: a smoke modeling framework that links with the SMARTFIRE system for fire activity information, then various fuel models, consumption and emissions models, and dispersion and trajectory models into one system for predicting the cumulative impacts of smoke from fires.



BlueSkyRain: a web-based information system that provides daily predictions of where smoke plumes will occur and relative area impact information by predicting particulate matter concentrations.



DaySmoke: a smoke injector for the regional-scale Community Multiscale Air Quality Modeling System (CMAQ).



SHRMC-4S: a chemical model that simulates and predicts chemical concentrations of smoke components.