The Smoke Committee (SmoC) provides national leadership in smoke and air resource management pertinent to wildland fire management. The SmoC develops and disseminates strategies and guidance to help member agencies and partners effectively, efficiently, and consistently manage smoke within their fire and fuels programs. The SmoC provides a forum for air resource and wildland fire management leaders to address technical, regulatory and policy issues related to planned and unplanned fire emissions and air quality impacts on firefighter and public safety and health. Primary objectives include:
- Improve communication and understanding of the interface of wildland fire management and air quality.
- Develop consistent recommendations for wildland fire management which account for the air quality impacts of planned and unplanned ignition for NWCG member agencies.
- For SmoC products, seek consensus and mutual benefit to member agencies and partners when possible, but include full range of discussion and viewpoints if consensus is not achieved.
- Assess and advance technical products and training to build wildland fire management field capabilities relative to smoke management. This includes addressing air quality impacts of planned and unplanned ignitions, and meeting environmental rules, regulations, guidelines.
- Promote coordination and collaboration between agencies, programs and partners.
In recognition of the significance of air quality effects from wildland fire and the need for policies, guidance, information and greater coordination, the Smoke Committee was initially created in 2003 by the Wildland Fire Leadership Council. Committee membership reflects this in that it includes a broad array of agencies, programs and partners representing land managers, air quality regulators, nongovernmental organizations, states, tribal, local and private interests that are not directly affiliated with the NWCG member agencies.