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Earth System Science Data The Data Publishing Journal
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2017-97
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
 
09 Oct 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Science Data (ESSD).
The Alberta Smoke Plume Observation Study
Kerry Anderson1, Al Pankratz2, Curtis Mooney2, and Kelly Fleetham3 1Natural Resources Canada, 5320 122 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6H 3S5
2Environment and Climate Change Canada, 9250 49 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6B 1K5
3Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, 9920 108 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T5K 2M4
Abstract. A field project was conducted to observe and measure smoke plumes from wildland fires in Alberta. This study used hand-held inclinometer measurements and photos taken at lookout towers in the province. Observations of 222 plumes were collected from 21 lookout towers over a 6-year period from 2010 to 2015. Observers reported the equilibrium and maximum plume heights based on the plume's final levelling height and the maximum lofting height, respectively.

Observations were tabulated at the end of each year and matched to reported fires. Fire sizes at assessment times and forest fuel types were reported by the province. Fire weather conditions were obtained from the Canadian Wildland Fire Information System (CWFIS). Assessed fire sizes were adjusted to the appropriate size at plume observation time using elliptical fire-growth projections.

Though a logical method to collect plume observations in principle, many unanticipated issues were uncovered as the project developed. Instrument limitations and environmental conditions presented challenges to the investigators whereas human error and the subjectivity of observations affected data quality. Despite these problems, the data set showed that responses to fire behaviour conditions were consistent with the physical processes leading to plume rise.

The Alberta Smoke Plume Observation Study data can be found on the BlueSky Canada data page (http://firesmoke.ca/data/) and the Canadian Wildland Fire Information System datamart (http://cwfis.cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/datamart).


Citation: Anderson, K., Pankratz, A., Mooney, C., and Fleetham, K.: The Alberta Smoke Plume Observation Study, Earth Syst. Sci. Data Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2017-97, in review, 2017.
Kerry Anderson et al.
Kerry Anderson et al.

Data sets

FireSmoke Canada
BlueSky Canada
http://firesmoke.ca/data/
CWFIS Datamart
Canadian Wildland Fire Information System
http://cwfis.cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/datamart
Kerry Anderson et al.

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Short summary
A field project was conducted to measure smoke plumes from wildland fires in Alberta. This study used hand-held inclinometers and photos taken at fire lookout towers. Observations of 222 plumes were collected from 2010 to 2015. Unanticipated issues were uncovered including instrument limitations, environmental conditions and subjectivity of observations. Despite these problems, the data set showed responses to fire behaviour conditions consistent with processes leading to plume rise.
A field project was conducted to measure smoke plumes from wildland fires in Alberta. This study...
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