Skip to Main Content
Smoke exposure among firefighters at prescribed burns in the Pacific Northwest.Author(s): Timothy E. Reinhardt; Roger D. Ottmar; Andrew J.S. Hanneman
Source: Res. Pap. PNW-RP-526. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 45 p
Publication Series: Research Paper (RP)
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
Download Publication (330 KB)
DescriptionSmoke exposure measurements among firefighters during prescribed burns in the Pacific Northwest between 1991 and 1994 showed that a small but significant percentage of workers experienced exposure to carbon monoxide and respiratory irritants that exceeded occupational exposure limits. This most often was caused by unfavorable winds or fire behavior and occurred mostly among workers involved in maintaining the fire within the prescribed boundaries. Smoke exposure in such peak exposure situations was up to three times above recommended limits. Exposure to acrolein benzene, formaldehyde, and respirable particulate matter could be predicted from measurements of carbon monoxide. Electronic dosimeters were the best tool to assess smoke exposure routinely, so long as quality assurance concepts were included in the monitoring program.
- Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationReinhardt, Timothy E.; Ottmar, Roger D.; Hanneman, Andrew J.S. 2000. Smoke exposure among firefighters at prescribed burns in the Pacific Northwest. Res. Pap. PNW-RP-526. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 45 p
Keywordssmoke hazards, firefighters, health effects, pollutants, Pacific Northwest
- Smoke exposure at western wildfires.
- Monitoring firefighter exposure to air toxins at prescribed burns of forest and range biomass.
- Fire and birds in maritime Pacific Northwest
XML: View XML