Understanding and Characterizing Emission Factors from Burning Structures in California Due to Wildfires
Principal Investigator/Author(s): Allen Goldstein, Michael Gollner, Nathan Kreisberg
Contractor: University of California, Berkeley
Contract Number: 22RD004
Relevant CARB Programs: GHG Emission Inventory Program
Over 25% of California’s population lives in high-fire risk areas at the wildland-urban interface (WUI). It is critical to understand emissions from WUI fires, including emissions from burning structures that may contain toxic chemicals from burning metals, plastics, and other petroleum-based products. This project will determine emission factors and chemical speciation from burning structures typical of those located in California due to wildfires and help improve characterization of WUI structure fire emissions that are needed in California’s Natural and Working Lands (NWL) model and First Order Fire Effects Model (FOFEM). This project will conduct additional experiments by burning specific building materials in the UCB Fire Research Lab and collect similar emissions captured from these controlled environments. Emission profiles from two distinct types of structure fires in the field: full-scale Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and single-family homes, and a range of other materials will be compared. These two building types capture an important segment of structures in the California WUI. Thus, it will improve our understanding of fire behavior and their role in emissions for developing and testing effective strategies and policies for mitigating the impacts of wildfires in California.