FLAME is supported by the Joint Fire Science Program and is a cooperative effort between the National Park Service, the Forest Service's Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory, the University of Nevada Desert Research Institute and Colorado State University, with participation from a number of outside investigators. The primary goal of the FLAME project is to characterize particulate matter emissions by wildland fires relevant to visibility impairment and PM nonattainment. Project findings will support the needs of wildland fire managers and policy makers in determining the contribution of biomass burning to PM2.5 and visibility on a regional basis, focusing on the western and southeastern U.S. regions. Project results will lead to an improved understanding of the impact that wildfire emissions have on climate, regional air quality and visibility.
The aspect of FLAME documented here is a series of laboratory measurements of smoke emission composition profiles from several important fuel types burned under a variety of conditions to provide urgently needed source profiles for classes of fires believed to severely impact air quality in the western and southeastern U.S. Concurrent with smoke emission profile measurements, measurement of key physical and optical properties and emission rates in the laboratory are made. The laboratory work is conducted at the United States Forest Service's Missoula Fire Science Laboratory in two phases. Phase I occured in May/June 2006 and phase II in May/June 2007.
In both phases I and II, a series of controlled experimental burns of different North American wildfire fuels, along with a few other fuel types for comparison, were conducted. A large number of instruments characterized the physical, optical and chemical properties of the gas and partuclate phase emissions of these fuels (see links to the left).