Journal Article: CFIRE Inventory - Wildland Fire Emissions Developed for the 2011 and 2014 U.S. NEI
Wildland fire emissions from both wildfires and prescribed fires represent a major component of overall U.S. emissions. Obtaining an accurate, time-resolved inventory of these emissions is important for many purposes, including to account for emissions of greenhouse gases and short-lived climate forcers, as well as to model air quality for health, regulatory, and planning purposes. In collaboration with USFS and EPA, Sonoma Technology developed a new methodology for EPA’s 2011 and 2014 National Emissions Inventories to reconcile the wide range of available fire information sources into a single coherent inventory. The CFIRE inventory effort utilized satellite fire detections as well as a large number of national, state, tribal, and local databases. The methodology and results for CONUS and Alaska were documented and compared against other fire emissions databases, and the efficacy of the overall effort was evaluated. Results show the overall spatial pattern differences and relative seasonality of wildfires and prescribed fires across the country. Prescribed burn emissions occurred primarily in non-summer months, were concentrated in the Southeast, Northwest, and lower Midwest, and were relatively consistent year to year. Wildfire emissions were much more variable but occurred primarily in the summer and fall. Overall, CFIRE represents a third of total emitted PM2.5 across all sources in the National Emissions Inventory, with prescribed fires accounting for nearly half of all CFIRE emissions. Compared with other wildland fire emissions inventories derived solely from satellite detections, the CFIRE inventory shows markedly increased emissions, reflecting the importance of the multiple national and regional databases included in CFIRE in capturing small fires and prescribed fires in particular.