Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Sonya SachdevaSarah M. McCaffreyDexter Locke
    Date: 2016
    Source: Information, Communication & Society. 16 p. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2016.1218528.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (1.0 MB)

    Description

    Wildfires have significant effects on human populations, economically, environmentally, and in terms of their general wellbeing. Smoke pollution, in particular, from either prescribed burns or uncontrolled wildfires, can have significant health impacts. Some estimates suggest that smoke dispersion from fire events may affect the health of one in three residents in the United States, leading to an increased incidence of respiratory illnesses such as asthma and pulmonary disease. Scarcity in the measurements of particulate matter responsible for these public health issues makes addressing the problem of smoke dispersion challenging, especially when fires occur in remote regions. Crowdsourced data have become an essential component in addressing other societal problems (e.g., disaster relief, traffic congestion) but its utility in monitoring air quality impacts of wildfire events is unexplored. In this study, we assessed if user-generated social media content can be used as a complementary source of data in measuring particulate pollution from wildfire smoke. We found that the frequency of daily tweets within a 40,000 km2 area was a significant predictor of PM2.5 levels, beyond daily and geographic variation. These results suggest that social media can be a valuable tool for the measurement of air quality impacts of wildfire events, particularly in the absence of data from physical monitoring stations. Also, an analysis of the semantic content in people’s tweets provided insight into the socio-psychological dimensions of fire and smoke and their impact on people residing in, working in, or otherwise engaging with affected areas.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, shobrla@fs.fed.us if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • 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.

    Citation

    Sachdeva, Sonya; McCaffrey, Sarah; Locke, Dexter. 2016. Social media approaches to modeling wildfire smoke dispersion: spatiotemporal and social scientific investigations. Information, Communication & Society. 16 p. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2016.1218528.

    Cited

    Google Scholar

    Keywords

    Crowdsourcing, air quality, wildfire, smoke, risk perception

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/52336