Video, Article and Photos, Fall 2016
Client: Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) -partnership of NOAA & CU Boulder
Of the three major influences on the atmosphere and climate, wildland fire is the least known.
On October 1, 2016, top chemistry researchers from around the country came to Missoula, Montana, to light stuff on fire. They converged at an old building that looked like a mad scientist’s warehouse. Inside, they helped each other set up millions of dollars worth of instruments. Wind tunnels weaved in and out of the walls, and a rickety elevator ferried researchers to the top of a giant smoke funnel.
These scientists were kicking off a multi-year mission called FIREX—Fire Influence on Regional and Global Environments Experiment, to better understand the air quality and climate effects of fire—in the controlled environment of the Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station Fire Sciences Laboratory.