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The interaction between smoke and air pollution creates a public health challenge. Fuels treatments proposed for National Forests are intended to reduce fuel accumulations and wildfire frequency and severity, as well as to protect property located in the wild land-urban interface. However, prescribed fires produce gases and aerosols that have instantaneous and long-term effects on air quality. If fuels treatment are not conducted, however, then wild land fires become more severe and frequent causing worse public health and wellfare effects. A better understanding of air pollution and smoke interactions is needed in order to protect the public health and allow for socially and ecologically acceptable use of fire as a management tool.
This text offers such an understanding and examines innovative wide-scale monitoring efforts (field and remotely sensed), and development of models predicting spatial and temporal distribution of air pollution and smoke resulting from forests fires and other sources. It is the result of a collaborative effort of an international team of scientists. It includes a high quality of invited chapters.