How AirNow and PurpleAir Are Working Together During Wildfire Season
We all know that wildfires have been on the rise across the globe for decades. Thankfully, we have better technology to combat them than we did historically. At PurpleAir, we’re sharing one such technology with the world.
And we’re thrilled to hear about organizations using our air quality data for just that.
The truth is wildfires are not just getting bigger but also far more common. According to the Congressional Research Service, there are 70,072 wildfires annually on average in the United States. And what’s worse? That’s double the number we saw in the 1990s.
Beyond wildfires, there are all kinds of harmful pollutants in our atmosphere that affect our health. From vehicle emissions to manufacturing, all of these affect our air quality. All year round, it’s important to check your air quality to reduce your exposure to dangerous pollutants like particulate matter.
So, what can we do about it? Well, to help the community better prepare for sudden and dangerous conditions, AirNow is including PurpleAir data in their Fire and Smoke Map.
What is the AirNow Fire & Smoke Map?
The AirNow Fire and Smoke Map is a joint effort of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). Their collaborative work has resulted in a map that is the go-to site for air quality information during wildfires. You can use the map to keep track of the official U.S. Air Quality Index (AQI) or download their free app for local alerts in your area.
How AirNow is Using PurpleAir Technology
The AirNow Fire and Smoke Map includes PurpleAir data precisely because of our network of community scientists. EPA researchers supporting the AirNow Fire and Smoke Map developed quality assurance steps and a correction approach that supported the integration of PurpleAir data to be displayed on the map alongside air monitoring data produced by government air agencies.
We’re thrilled that thanks to thousands of air quality monitors, the PurpleAir Community is becoming an increasingly important part of America’s air quality conversation. The AirNow Fire and Smoke Map is especially useful for people affected by local and state wildfires, and we are proud to be included in the AirNow Smoke and Fire Map.
For more, read AirNow’s report on the use of PurpleAir sensor data here: AirNow’s Press Release.
Get Involved with PurpleAir Yourself
At PurpleAir, there are tons of community projects going on around the world. We’re thrilled to see these kinds of collaborative efforts, and we look forward to seeing plenty more in the future. Are you working on a community project with PurpleAir’s air quality monitors?
We would love to hear about it. Share a post in the Community Project forum, then we can highlight your work. Together, we can make air quality accessible for everyone.
*Note: The EPA does not endorse specific commercial products, and mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute EPA or USFS endorsement or recommendation for use.