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Title: Integration of a Coupled Fire-Atmosphere Model Into a Regional Air Quality Forecasting System for Wildfire Events
The objective of this study was to assess feasibility of integrating a coupled fire-atmosphere model within an air-quality forecast system to create a multiscale air-quality modeling framework designed to simulate wildfire smoke. For this study, a coupled fire-atmosphere model, WRF-SFIRE, was integrated, one-way, with the AIRPACT air-quality modeling system. WRF-SFIRE resolved local meteorology, fire growth, the fire plume rise, and smoke dispersion, and provided AIRPACT with fire inputs. The WRF-SFIRE-forecasted fire area and the explicitly resolved vertical smoke distribution replaced the parameterized BlueSky fire inputs used by AIRPACT. The WRF-SFIRE/AIRPACT integrated framework was successfully tested for two separate wildfire events (2015 Cougar Creek and 2016 Pioneer fires). The execution time for the WRF-SFIRE simulations was <3 h for a 48 h-long forecast, suggesting that integrating coupled fire-atmosphere simulations within the daily AIRPACT cycle is feasible. While the WRF-SFIRE forecasts realistically captured fire growth 2 days in advance, the largest improvements in the air quality simulations were associated with the wildfire plume rise. WRF-SFIRE-estimated plume tops were within 300-m of satellite-estimated plume top heights for both case studies analyzed in this study. Air quality simulations produced by AIRPACT with and without WRF-SFIRE inputs were evaluated with nearby PM 2 . 5 more » measurement sites to assess the performance of our multiscale smoke modeling framework. The largest improvements when coupling WRF-SFIRE with AIRPACT were observed for the Cougar Creek Fire where model errors were reduced by ∼50%. For the second case (Pioneer fire), the most notable change with WRF-SFIRE coupling was that the probability of detection increased from 16 to 52%. « less
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Award ID(s):
2039552 2113931 1664175
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Frontiers in Forests and Global Change
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  3. Abstract

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