CSU Study Asks: What Will More Wildfires Do To Air Quality?

April 7, 2016
Photo: Wildfire slurry bomber at sunset, Loveland, Colo 2010 (AP)
A slurry bomber drops fire retardant on a burning ridge as the sun sets behind it as a wildfire burns west of Loveland, Colorado,  in this Sept. 12, 2010, file photo.

That's the question some Colorado State University researchers will try to answer after receiving a $350,000 federal grant. 

The warming climate is expected to translate into more smoke from wildfires. It’s could also mean more dust in the air on windy days.

Estimates vary on just how much the climate will warm between now and 2050. CSU researchers will combine different models to give managers scenarios of how air quality could change.

"We are going to connect that range of potential futures in the meteorology to a range of possible air quality impacts,” said Emily Fischer, an assistant professor in the department of atmospheric science.

The project will be funded by the Environmental Protection Agency. It’s expected to last three years.