Friday, August 28, 2015

8/28/2015 Have you seen some of the work of the 4 ARA's currently working in Washington?

What’s an Air Resource Advisor? 
There’s a new kind of expert available to incident management teams and agency administrators. Air Resource Advisors (ARA’s) are trained specialists who can be dispatched to an incident to assist with understanding and predicting smoke impacts on the public and fire personnel. They analyze, summarize, and communicate these impacts to incident teams, air quality regulators, and the public.

Smoke from wildfires can have an enormous impact on the public and fire personnel, affecting health, interfering with transportation safety, and upsetting tourism and local economies. ARA’s are technical specialists with expertise in air quality science including: air quality monitoring, smoke modeling, pollutant health thresholds, and communicating about smoke risks and mitigation.  During wildfire incidents when smoke is a concern, their objective is to provide timely smoke impact and forecast information and messages based on best-available science. They work with multiple agencies to address public health concerns, smoke risk to transportation safety, and fire personnel exposure.
What all does an ARA do?
·        Provide, install, and operate air quality monitors in communities, base and spike camps as needed.
·   Summarize information about current air quality conditions compared to national health thresholds and communicate findings with partner agencies and the public.
·   Run smoke models and provide forecasts of future air quality impacts.
·  Work with safety officers to address incident personnel impacts from smoke.
·  Provide information on how to reduce and mitigate smoke exposure.
·  Support IMTs in public meetings and in media such as Inciweb, AirNow and smoke blogs. 
·   Engage and coordinate with other agencies such as public health, air regulators, and emergency management as needed for appropriate actions to respond to smoke.

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