WE-CAN in the News

Scientists fly through plumes of wildfire smoke to unravel its mysteries

21 November 2018 | The Verge

Wildfire smoke hung in a hazy heavy cloud over parts of California this month, but it won’t stay for much longer. Rain is in the forecast, which could bring some relief from the poor air quality that’s blanketed parts of the state. But what happens to smoke after it is lofted into the air and starts interacting with air currents and weather is far more complicated than it might appear.

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Boise-based Analysis of Wildfire Smoke May Pay Big Scientific Dividends

05 September 2018 | Boise Weekly

In the heart of downtown Boise on Aug. 11, the smoke choking the skyline from nearby wildfires was oppressive, hazing the foothills and stealing the blue from overhead. But as bad as it was, a drive out to Western Aircraft, an avionics company near the Boise Airport, revealed that it could have been much worse. There, the gray-brown murk was so dense it blanketed the ground like fog.

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Why forecasting wildfire smoke is becoming more and more important

22 August 2018 | NBC Affiliate 9News Denver

Everyone in Colorado is probably a little tired of wildfire smoke hanging over our towns and our mountain views, but it could become a more frequent issue for our state moving forward. Research shows that wildfire smoke days are expected to rise in frequency, intensity, and duration going into the future.

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National Center for Atmospheric Research holds open house for WE-CAN project

16 August 2018 | Idaho Business Review

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University of Wyoming King Air hosted an open house at the Boise Airport on Aug. 11 with the scientists and engineers taking part in research on cloud chemistry, aerosol absorption, and nitrogen and biomass burning fluxes. The work is funded by the National Science Foundation.

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Smoking out the chemistry of wildfires

15 August 2018 | Chemistry World

As deadly wildfires continue to sweep through parts of the US, the government has initiated a project to characterize the chemistry of wildfires across western regions this summer, with 15 to 20 smoke observation flights out of Boise, Idaho.

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Scientists study how wildfire smoke affects people, environment

13 August 2018 | Fox News Denver

Smoke from the wildfires raging across the West is reaching as far as the East Coast, according to the National Weather Service. A team of scientists from five universities and a handful of federally funded agencies are flying a specially equipped plane through the plumes to do the most extensive analysis of wildfire smoke ever.

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Researchers studying the chemistry of wildfire smoke first-hand

11 August 2018 | NBC Affiliate Channel 7 Boise

The largest, most comprehensive attempt at measuring and analyzing smoke from wildfires is happening in Boise. A multi-agency, multi-disciplinary team is studying the wildfire smoke by flying two aircraft into it, then measuring the smoke in real time. 

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"It's a threat to the air we breathe," Researchers study wildfires impact on air quality

11 August 2018 | ABC Affiliate Channel 6 Boise

When you think of pollution, you might think of cars or trucks, but the wildfires burning across the nation affect our health and ecosystem too. A majority of Idaho is under Stage I fire restrictions, which means the fires are on everyone's mind.

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Researchers fly into wildfire smoke

11 August 2018 | Idaho Press

This summer, firefighters won’t be the only ones flying into the smoke rising from Western wildfires.

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Colorado Scientists Take To The Skies To Learn More About Wildfire Smoke

10 Aug 2018 | KUNC Science Friday

A diverse team of scientists led by Colorado State University will be on an aircraft conducting smoke observation flights in Boise, Idaho.

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‘Rivers of Smoke’ Carry Air Pollution East as California Burns

10 Aug 2018 | Bloomberg Environment

The record-setting wildfires causing widespread destruction in California are fueling research on the danger of the air pollution they spew—and how far across the country the pollution could spread.

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Project Analyzes Effects of Wildfire Smoke

09 Aug 2018 | Sheridan Media

Smoke from wildfires has become more common throughout states in the west in recent years as the hot dry climate continues to provide fuel for what has become a severe problem for many.

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Scientists Fly into the Heart of Smoke Plumes

26 July 2018 | AtmosNews

This summer, a specially equipped airplane is flying above wildfires in Idaho and surrounding western states in the most comprehensive field campaign to date that is focused on smoke plumes in the western United States.

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This CSU Professor Flies Into Smoke-Filled Wildfire Airspace In The Name Of Science

26 July 2018 | Colorado Public Radio

What is smoke made of? It may seem like a simple question, but the answer is just one of many an airborne research team is investigating above wildfires. Colorado State University professor Emily Fischer leads a team of scientists in a specially outfitted C-130 aircraft to discover the chemistry of wildfire emissions. Fischer talked to Colorado Matters about what goes into conducting experiments while flying.

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Studying Wildfires by Flying Directly Through the Smoke

24 July 2018 | NOAA Climate Program Office

Since the mid-1980s, there has been an increase in the frequency and duration of wildfires, especially in the Northwest United States. Understanding how wildfires impact the composition of the planet’s atmosphere and air pollution is becoming increasingly important for citizens all over the region because smoke from wildfires can travel long distances with adverse health impacts on people living nearby and far away.

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New project will fly into wildfire smoke to study its composition

23 July 2018 | Earth.com

This summer, researchers will conduct the largest, most comprehensive survey of wildfire smoke ever attempted. The National Science Foundation (NSF) reported on the new venture and the project is sponsored by NSF funding. Researchers from five different universities and the National Center of Atmospheric Research will take part in 15 to 20 six hour observational smoke flights using a four-engine C-130 research aircraft.

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CSU Researchers Using High-Tech Plane To Study Wildfires

20 July 2018 | CBS Affiliate Channel 4 Denver

A cargo plane loaded with a million dollars worth of equipment and Colorado scientists is prepped to study wildfire smoke. Emily Fischer tells CBS4 the mission could be groundbreaking on a number of fronts from how smoke affects our health to how it impacts weather. “Every part of the smoke is interacting differently with atmosphere and is changing differently in time so you really have to have this level of instrumentation to understand the whole picture of how the smoke is evolving,” Fischer said.

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UW Scientist, Aircraft Join Wildfire Smoke Research

20 July 2018 | University of Wyoming

In recent years, smoke from wildfires has blanketed many states in the West, and Wyoming is no exception. But exactly how that smoke affects air quality, climate and weather is the subject of a comprehensive study this summer that includes University of Wyoming Assistant Professor Shane Murphy’s research group.

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Aircraft Campaign to Clarify Chemistry of Wildfire Smoke

19 July 2018 | Colorado State University

This summer, a four-engine cargo airplane laden with both scientists and sophisticated equipment will fly straight into hazy smoke from Western wildfires. The flights will comprise the largest, most comprehensive attempt to date to measure and analyze the wildfire smoke that blankets vast swaths of the United States every year.

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Scientists fly above wildfires this summer to clarify chemistry of smoke

19 July 2018 | National Science Foundation

This summer, a four-engine cargo plane laden with scientists and sophisticated equipment will make flights straight into hazy smoke from Western wildfires. The flights will be the largest, most comprehensive attempt to date to measure and analyze the wildfire smoke that blankets vast swaths of the U.S. every year.

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Boulder scientists join major study of smoke from western wildfires

19 July 2018 | Boulder Daily Camera

There will be an additional plane in the air over wildfires in the northwestern United States in coming weeks, but it won't be there trying to put them out. The C-130 research aircraft flying to Boise, Idaho, from the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Broomfield on Friday will be taking to the skies over those blazes to foster a better understanding of their impact on air quality, weather patterns and longer-term climate change.

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CSU to head study focused on wildfire smoke

18 July 2018 | 9News (NBC Affiliate)

It is already known that wildfire smoke can be hazardous to human health, plants, animals, and even entire ecosystems, but there has never been a comprehensive study on the chemistry of wildfire smoke, and how it changes with time, and over space.

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Colorado professor leads team that will fly plane into wildfire smoke to study impact

17 July 2018 | 7 Denver (ABC Affiliate)

A mobile chemistry lab built on an airplane is about to take flight, helping us learn more about the chemical composition of wildfire smoke. The $3.8 million study could ultimately help improve air quality forecasts.

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CSU researchers use plane to study impacts of wildfire smoke

14 June 2018 | Denver 7 (ABC Affiliate)

Smoke from wildfires burning across the state is visible along the Front Range and it could be affecting your health. A team of CSU researchers is launching a new project to study the impact. They will take samples by flying a plane straight into the smoke. The $3.8 million study attempts to better understand the composition of the smoke and how much it matters to air quality.

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Scientists race to reveal how surging wildfire smoke is affecting climate and health

31 May 2018 | Science

Emily Fischer is likely one of the few people whose summer plans were buoyed by a recent forecast that much of the western United States faces another worse-than-normal wildfire season. Unusually warm weather and drought, together with plenty of dry grass and brush, are expected to create prime conditions for blazes this summer, federal officials announced on 10 May.

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UM research team to flying technology into wildfire smoke

26 June 2017 | ABC Fox Montana

Wildfires in Montana are nothing new. Last year, the Treasure State saw a bad fire season with more than 114,000 acres burned. In an attempt to better understand how wildfires may affect weather, climate and even health, a group of University of Montana scientists will fly directly into the smoke of a wildfire.

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UM Chemist to Study Climate, Health Effects of Wildfire Smoke

15 June 2017 | UM News

University of Montana scientists will fly straight into the smoke of western wildfires as part of a collaborative research project, thanks to a new grant from the National Science Foundation. Assistant Professor Lu Hu from UM’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry received $406,000 for the three-year project, which aims to study the chemical composition and evolution of western wildfire smoke.

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Wildfire Smoke Study Includes UW Atmospheric Science Faculty

15 May 2017 | University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming is among five universities involved in a groundbreaking study about the effects of wildfire smoke. Announced in April, the partnership among the schools will use a $3.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Atmospheric Chemistry program.

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CSU leading study into wildfire smoke in the western US

2 May 2017 | 9News

When fire season arrives it can hit hard, especially in the western U.S. Colorado State University researchers say from 1980 to 2015, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming accounted for approximately 40 percent of the burned area in the lower 48 states. While we know the local impacts of smoke can be extreme, they can also affect air quality in every region in the U.S.

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CSU researchers will fly into smoke plumes to probe the impact of Western wildfires on air quality, weather

27 April 2017 | The Denver Post

As Western wildfires get bigger and meaner, a team of Colorado State University researchers want to find out how smoke from those blazes impacts air quality and weather. The CSU group will use a National Center for Atmospheric Research C-130 aircraft to fly into smoke plumes to collect the needed data.

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CSU leads $3.8 million study to understand impacts of western wildfire smoke

25 April 2017 | Colorado State University - Source

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and especially in the western United States, that smoke is usually from wildfires. From 1980 to 2015, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado accounted for approximately 40 percent of the burned area in the lower 48 states. Though local impacts of smoke can be extreme, the smoke produced from these fires impacts air quality in every region in the U.S.

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