Building a Practice-based Research Agenda for Wildfire Smoke and Health

Project Overview

Wildfires are a growing concern for communities, decision-makers, employers and workers across the western United States, including Washington state. Wildfires have public health consequences for populations directly in wildfire-prone areas, as well as for populations located many miles downwind due to poor air quality from wildfire smoke. While many have called for action to reduce the public health threat of wildfire smoke for affected communities, uncertainties remain around the health impacts of wildfire smoke exposure and the effectiveness of risk reduction strategies. In October 2018, the Climate Impacts Group co-hosted a Wildfire Smoke Risk Communication Stakeholder Synthesis Symposium to identify and prioritize needs, barriers, and solutions to promote effective wildfire smoke risk communication and risk reduction across Washington state. This symposium brought together 75 regional stakeholders representing over 30 agencies, organizations, communities and tribes to share lessons learned from recent wildfire seasons, to provide information on the current state of the science related to wildfire smoke exposure and health, and to facilitate collaborations between researchers and practitioners involved with wildfire smoke across the state.

Products

A workshop report and accompanying manuscript that describe the research needs identified during the symposium are coming soon!

Key Personnel

  • Nicole Errett, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington
  • Tania Busch Isaksen, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington
  • Heidi Roop, Climate Impacts Group and Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington
  • Annie Doubleday, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington (student)
  • Bradley Kramer, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington (student)
  • Claire Pendergrast, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington (student)
  • Kim Anh Tran, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington (student)

Funders

This project was funded by the University of Washington Collaborative on Extreme Event Resilience, University of Washington Program on Climate Change, University of Washington Interdisciplinary Center for Exposures, Diseases, Genomics & the Environment, University of Washington Center for Health and the Global Environment, University of Washington Climate Impacts Group, and the Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center.

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