Special Issue "Managing Forest Fire Smoke and Impacts on Health in an Era of Escalating Fire Risk"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Martine Dennekamp
Guest Editor
Environmental Public Health Unit, Environment Protection Authority Victoria, Carlton, Victoria 3053, Australia; Adjunct of: School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne 3004, Australia
Interests: air pollution epidemiology; forest fire smoke health impacts
Dr. Fay Johnston
Guest Editor
Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania, 1 Liverpool St, Hobart, Tasmania 7000, Australia
Interests: environmental health; epidemiology; outdoor air pollution and wood smoke; health impacts of bushfires, heatwaves and pollen; public health policy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The frequency and severity of forest fires is already increasing and is predicted to continue to do so in the foreseeable future. On a global scale, it has been estimated that each year, 340,000 deaths are attributable to forest fire smoke.

Due to climate and type of vegetation in Australia, forest fires occur every year, resulting in large population centres being exposed, making it an important public health problem in Australia and in many countries around the world. Smoke is also emitted during prescribed or planned burning; this is the purposeful application of fire to reduce fuel loads to reduce the risk of forest fires.

The health effects of smoke from forest fires are largely attributable to suspended fine particulate matter (PM2.5) which affects the respiratory, cardiovascular systems. However, impacts on the immune system and changes to metabolic functions have also been reported.

It is essential to understand the most effective way to manage the health impacts of forest fire smoke exposure. To address this, the Centre for Air pollution, energy and health Research (CAR) will hold a workshop on “Managing Smoke in an Era of Escalating Fire Risk” in Sydney, Australia on 8–9 October 2020. This IJERPH Special Issue is being developed in partnership with the conference, and presenters are invited to publish their papers in this Special Issue.

Dr. Martine Dennekamp
Dr. Fay Johnston
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Forest fire smoke
  • Landscape fire smoke
  • Respiratory health
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Managing fire smoke

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Health Impacts of Ambient Biomass Smoke in Tasmania, Australia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3264; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17093264 - 07 May 2020
The island state of Tasmania has marked seasonal variations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations related to wood heating during winter, planned forest fires during autumn and spring, and bushfires during summer. Biomass smoke causes considerable health harms and associated costs. [...] Read more.
The island state of Tasmania has marked seasonal variations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations related to wood heating during winter, planned forest fires during autumn and spring, and bushfires during summer. Biomass smoke causes considerable health harms and associated costs. We estimated the historical health burden from PM2.5 attributable to wood heater smoke (WHS) and landscape fire smoke (LFS) in Tasmania between 2010 and 2019. We calculated the daily population level exposure to WHS- and LFS-related PM2.5 and estimated the number of cases and health costs due to premature mortality, cardiorespiratory hospital admissions, and asthma emergency department (ED) visits. We estimated 69 deaths, 86 hospital admissions, and 15 asthma ED visits, each year, with over 74% of impacts attributed to WHS. Average yearly costs associated with WHS were of AUD$ 293 million and AUD$ 16 million for LFS. The latter increased up to more than AUD$ 34 million during extreme bushfire seasons. This is the first study to quantify the health impacts attributable to biomass smoke for Tasmania. We estimated substantial impacts, which could be reduced through replacing heating technologies, improving fire management, and possibly implementing integrated strategies. This would most likely produce important and cost-effective health benefits. Full article
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