Main content area

Development of a Smoke Dispersion Forecast System for Korean Forest Fires

Lee, Boknam, Cho, Seungwan, Lee, Seung-Kii, Woo, Choongshik, Park, Joowon
Forests 2019 v.10 no.3
carbon monoxide, climate change, dispersions, forest fires, forests, fuel loading, fuels (fire ecology), geographic information systems, inventories, national forests, particulates, prediction, simulation models, smoke, smoke management, weather forecasting, weather research and forecasting model, Korean Peninsula
Smoke from forest fires is a growing concern in Korea as forest structures have changed and become more vulnerable to fires associated with climate change. In this study, we developed a Korean forest fire smoke dispersion prediction (KFSDP) system to support smoke management in Korea. The KFSDP system integrates modules from different models, including a Korean forest fire growth prediction model, grid-based geographic information system (GIS) fuel loading and consumption maps generated by national forest fuel inventory data, and the Korean Weather Research and Forecasting Model, into a Gaussian plume model to simulate local- and regional-scale smoke dispersion. The forecast system is operated using grid-based fires and simulates a cumulative smoke dispersion of carbon monoxide (CO) and <2.5 &micro;m and <10 &micro;m particulate matter (PM<inf>2.5</inf> and PM<inf>10</inf>, respectively) ground-level concentration contours at 30-min intervals during the fire in concert with weather forecasts. The simulated smoke dispersions were evaluated and agreed well with observed smoke spreads obtained from real forest fires in Korea, and the performance of the KFSDP system was also analyzed using &ldquo;what-if&rdquo; scenarios. This is the first study to develop an integrated model for predicting smoke dispersion from forest fires in Korea.