photo of a man and a woman
Christopher Holmes and Holly Nowell, Florida State University
  • PI: Christopher Uejio, Florida State University
  • Co-I: Christopher Holmes, Florida State University
  • Co-I: Holly Nowell, Florida State University

Prescribed fire is a critical tool for mitigating wildfire risk, promoting agriculture, and managing ecosystem services. Even though fires in the Southeast United States burn a significant amount of land, they are hard to detect by satellites due to their short durations, low intensity, and small sizes. The ability to manage smoke through prescribed fire instead of uncontrolled wildfire substantially reduces the impacts from smoke exposure. Unfortunately, prescribed fire smoke levels can still be high enough to challenge public health. The primary research objectives are to:

1) Increase the accuracy of satellite fire observations in the Southeast US using government records, satellite observations, and an atmospheric dispersion model.

2) Investigate potential disparities in PM2.5 exposures and air pollution sensitive health outcomes around prescribed burning across the state of Florida.

The project’s outputs will have multiple societal benefits. Government forest managers are specifically interested in quantifying how satellite/weather-based tools may further improve decision-making. The project’s outputs may also be beneficial for the Department of Defense and public health officials.

woman holding a pipe structure defining a perimeter
Holly Nowell, Florida State University