The use of prescribed fire is expected to increase in an effort to reduce the risk of catastrophic fire, particularly at urban/forest interfaces. Fire is a well-known source of particulate matter (PM) with particle sizes ≤2.5 μm (PM2.5), small diameter PM known to affect climate, visibility, and human health. In this work, PM2.5 was collected during seven first-entry burns (flaming and smoldering stages) and one maintenance burn of the Coconino National Forest. Samples were analyzed for organic and elemental carbon, cations (sodium, potassium [K+], and ammonium [NH4+]), anions (nitrate [NO3−] and sulfate), and 48 elements (with atomic weights between sodium and lead). The PM2.5 contained high organic carbon levels (typically >90% by mass), commonly observed ions (K+, NH4+, and NO3−) and elements (K+, chlorine, sulfur, and silicon), as well as titanium and chromium. Flaming produced higher K+ and NH4+ levels than smoldering, and the elemental signature was more complex (20 versus 7 elements). Average organic carbon × 1.4 mass fractions (± standard deviation) were lower during flaming (92 ± 14%) than during smoldering (124 ± 24%). The maintenance (grassland) burn produced lower particle concentrations, lower NH4+ and NO3− levels, and higher K and chlorine levels than did the first-entry fires.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association|
|State||Published - Sep 2004|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law