A dispersion forecasting system supported by NW-AIRQUEST

ClearSKY

ClearSky dispersion forecasting system for management of agricultural field burning smoke in the Pacific Northwest.

Burn Locations:

  • Eastern Washington
  • Northern Idaho
  • Clearwater & Nez Perce Reservation
  • Boundary County

Burn Scenarios:

Overview

Agricultural field burning is a common post-harvest activity, both in the farming of Kentucky Bluegrass for grass seed and in wheat farming. Consequently, many thousands of acres of agricultural fields are burned in northern Idaho and eastern Washington each year. Local burn managers, operating under various state and tribal jurisdictions, permit field burning when predicted meteorology suggests both safe burning and adequate dispersion of smoke. In spite of this precaution, smoke plumes sometimes affect population centers, constituting both a health hazard and a public nuisance. Networks of air-quality monitoring instruments for particulate matter (PM), operated by the various jurisdictions, capture data on such occurrences of smoky conditions.

Civil & Environmental Engineering, PO Box 642910, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-2910, 509-335-2576