DELWP Smoke Emissions and Transport Report published!

October 9th, 2019

In Victoria, Australia, there is a strong mandate to reduce fuel loads through prescribed burning. One of the challenges of this approach is that the meteorological conditions most suitable for burn management are also conducive to smoke build-up and the potential for population exposure to elevated concentrations of PM2.5. Given the generally narrow window of opportunity available each year to undertake the burning, land managers require access to robust smoke forecasting tools in order to minimise the air pollution exposure while addressing their program of burning. In response to this driver we have recently completed the development of a vertically-integrated air quality forecasting system for use by the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). The Smoke Emissions and Transport report documents the following. 1/ the field work and analysis undertaken to better characterise the combustion characteristics of Victorian forest fuels; 2/ the development of a three-tiered, cascading time-scale framework which provides progressive layers of intelligence for up to a 10–day outlook; 3/ the outcomes from applying the system to recent smoke exposure events; 4/ considerations for the on-going development of the system.