Examining Potential Future Air Quality Impacts from Wildfires with the AQUIPT Planning Tool
USDA Forest Service
Fire and smoke managers are often interested in examining the potential impacts of a planned fire. STI worked collaboratively with the USDA Forest Service's AirFire Team to develop a "climate" version of the BlueSky smoke modeling system called the Air Quality Impacts Planning Tool (AQUIPT). AQUIPT provides a probabilistic smoke impact analysis from user-specified emissions sources. STI prepared and quality-controlled the data needed to run AQUIPT and implemented, tested, and evaluated the tool. A long-term (27-year) meteorological data set was prepared and connected to the BlueSky Framework. The Framework and these data were used to develop a climatology-type analysis of the expected impacts for a fire that might happen during a specific time period. The results from multiple simulations (over ranges of days and years) are aggregated to provide a statistical analysis of potential smoke impacts from planned fires. STI built a web-based interface to AQUIPT that allows outside users to submit analysis requests and review the results online.
AQUIPT can generate predictions of expected future air quality impacts from fires for specified times of the year based on historical information.