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Forecasting the Effects of Wildland Fires on Air Quality and on Human Health †

Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM) & Department of Environment and Planning, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Presented at the Third International Conference on Fire Behavior and Risk, Sardinia, Italy, 3–6 May 2022.
Environ. Sci. Proc. 2022, 17(1), 9;
Published: 5 August 2022
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of The Third International Conference on Fire Behavior and Risk)


The impact of smoke from wildland fires on human health is currently a serious concern due to the high levels of emitted gases and particulate matter that affect populations and firefighters. In recent decades, scientific developments regarding smoke dispersion and its impacts were achieved using modelling systems, which include different components of wildfire behavior, such as fire spread, atmospheric emissions, smoke transport, and chemistry. In Europe, for instance, the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) provides a fire database with fire danger and fire detection forecasts based on satellite imagery. The European Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service (CAMS) is also monitoring emissions from fires using satellite observations and is delivering smoke dispersion information. Over North America, the systems BlueSky and FireWork provide near-real-time forecast data regarding wildfires’ spread and smoke dispersion. The purpose of this paper is to answer two main questions: (i) Why do we need a wildland-smoke-forecasting system? (ii) What should be the main characteristics of this forecasting system? For this, a review of available smoke-dispersion-modelling systems is conducted identifying the main advantages and drawbacks. Based on this review, on the needed computational resources, and on the stakeholders’ needs, in particular those from the health communities, a proposal for a smoke-forecasting system to be applied with a high spatial–temporal resolution is described, including its main components and the way they should be integrated, the input data, and the produced results that have to be oriented towards a clear communication to potentially exposed people, to health entities, and to other stakeholders.


The authors acknowledge the financial support of FEDER through the COMPETE Programme and the national funds from FCT – Science and Technology Portuguese Foundation within the projects FIRESTORM (PCIF/GFC/0109/2017) and SmokeStorm (PCIF/MPG/0147/2019). The authors also acknowledge the financial support of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation action for the FirEUrisk project under grant agreement ID: 101003890. Thanks are due for the financial support to CESAM (UIDB/50017/2020 + UIDP/50017/2020), to FCT/MCTES through national funds, and the co-funding by the FEDER, within the PT2020 Partnership Agreement and Compete 2020.

Institutional Review Board Statement

Not applicable.

Informed Consent Statement

Not applicable.

Conflicts of Interest

The author declares no conflict of interest.
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MDPI and ACS Style

Miranda, A.I. Forecasting the Effects of Wildland Fires on Air Quality and on Human Health. Environ. Sci. Proc. 2022, 17, 9.

AMA Style

Miranda AI. Forecasting the Effects of Wildland Fires on Air Quality and on Human Health. Environmental Sciences Proceedings. 2022; 17(1):9.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Miranda, Ana I. 2022. "Forecasting the Effects of Wildland Fires on Air Quality and on Human Health" Environmental Sciences Proceedings 17, no. 1: 9.

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