A JFSP Fire Science Exchange Network
Bringing People Together & Sharing Knowledge in the Northern Rockies
Author(s): Casey Crownhart
Year Published: 2020

Inhaling wildfire smoke can be harmful, but smoke from unintended wildfires may be worse than smoke from prescribed burns, according to a study published in 2019. That means the health risks from wildfires — like the ones that have destroyed millions of acres and turned the sky blood orange this fall in California, Oregon and Washington — might be prevented by implementing prescribed burns. When comparing how smoke from wildfires and prescribed burns affected children, “we saw worse effects from the wildfire,” says Dr. Mary Prunicki, who directs air pollution and health research at the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University. In a study published in the journal Allergy in 2019, her team found that children who lived near where a wildfire occurred suffered more severe respiratory and immune effects than those who lived near a prescribed burn.

Citation: Crownhart C, 2020. Prescribed fires may mean safer smoke. The Scienceline Newsletter, December 2020, online.
Topic(s): Smoke & Air Quality, Smoke Emissions, Smoke Monitoring, Air Quality
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Technical Report or White Paper
Hot Topic(s): Smoke and Human Health
NRFSN number: 22378
Record updated: Jan 11, 2021