Can Air Quality Management Drive Sustainable Fuels Management at the Temperate Wildland-Urban Interface?
Bowman, D., L. Daniels, F. Johnston, G. Williamson, W. Jolly, S. Magzamen, Ana G. Rappold, M. Brauer, AND S. Henderson. Can Air Quality Management Drive Sustainable Fuels Management at the Temperate Wildland-Urban Interface? Fire. MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland, 1(2):27, (2018). https://doi.org/10.3390/fire1020027
This is a manuscript that summarizes discussion from the workshop Dr Rappold attended in 2016. At the meeting multiple stakeholders discussed solutions for managing fuels and protecting public health.
Sustainable fire management has eluded all industrial societies. Given increasing wildfire events and magnitude, prescribed burning is promoted as the key to reducing fire hazard, but resultant smoke can adversely affect public health and compliance with air quality standards. However, existing regulations can drive adoption of novel fire management approaches to lower the risk of economically destructive wildfires while also improving air quality, and reducing climate-forcing emissions. For instance, mechanical clearing of trees from the wildland-urban interface can create ‘green fire-breaks’ that are biodiverse and attractive, and the harvested fuel can be used for biomass heating and electricity generation. We illustrate this possibility by comparing current and potential fire management approaches in the environmentally similar landscapes of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada and the island state of Tasmania in Australia.
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ORD-024747-FINAL-BOWMAN_MANUSCRIPT_EPA COPY_FINAL (002).DOCX