To help the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (SMAQMD) better understand how smoke from wildfires impacts both the local air quality and the District’s ability to meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) attainment standards, STI assessed the impact of smoke on ozone concentrations in the Sacramento, California, region from 2011 to 2015, and developed guidance for future identification of exceptional events. Findings revealed that smoke events were and are likely to continue to be an important and frequent contributor to high-ozone days in Sacramento.
To verify the presence of smoke and establish associations between smoke transport and ozone enhancement, STI used ambient data, satellite fire detects, smoke plume satellite data, HYSPLIT trajectory modeling, and regression analysis. STI also used Community Multiscale Air Quality model (CMAQ) estimates of ozone impacts from fires based on simulations from the BlueSky Gateway smoke and air modeling system.