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Manitoba Health's emerging work on wildland fire smokeAuthor(s): Jeffrey Joaquin; Darlene Oshanski
Source: In: Keane, Robert E.; Jolly, Matt; Parsons, Russell; Riley, Karin. Proceedings of the large wildland fires conference; May 19-23, 2014; Missoula, MT. Proc. RMRS-P-73. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 294-297.
Publication Series: Proceedings (P)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (361.34 KB)
DescriptionSmoke caused by wildland fire events is an important public health issue, involving major risks to the health of people and the environment. Smoke from wildland fires can travel hundreds of kilometers, affecting air quality far from the flames. Through a partnership with Health Canada, Manitoba Health's Office of Disaster Management (ODM) has undertaken a number of multi-year projects to improve our understanding of some of the aspects of these scientific and social issues related to wildland fire smoke. Through these projects, ODM will meet the following objectives: 1) develop specific smoke event health messaging for the general public, 2) develop First Nations messaging for smoke events, 3) examine the health outcomes and appropriate messaging for situations when the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) rises above 10, 4) provide nationally-applicable guidance for decision-makers to protect people from wildland fire smoke, 5) examine the combined risks of smoke and heat and develop appropriate messaging for a combination smoke and heat event, and 6) determine the validity of using the AQHI as a wildland fire smoke response. As climate change models suggest an increasing probability for more wildland fires events in the future, it can be expected that wildland fire smoke events will increase as well. For Canadians to deal with these events effectively, an evidence-based approach to smoke response is needed which will allow health officials and emergency managers to appropriately message and communicate to them the extent of the risk of wildland fire smoke and to provide guidance for decision-makers during these events.
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CitationJoaquin, Jeffrey; Oshanski, Darlene. 2015. Manitoba Health's emerging work on wildland fire smoke. In: Keane, Robert E.; Jolly, Matt; Parsons, Russell; Riley, Karin. Proceedings of the large wildland fires conference; May 19-23, 2014; Missoula, MT. Proc. RMRS-P-73. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 294-297.
Keywordsfire ecology, fire behavior, smoke management, fire management, social and political consequences
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