Last week, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) launched the Smoke Spotter app, a new, first-of-its-kind application to help California residents know when a prescribed fire is happening in their area so that they can prepare for the associated smoke impacts. The app provides information to help educate the public on prescribed fire, its positive impacts on forest resilience and how to prepare for the related smoke, including:

  • Location, size, and burn status;

  • 24-hour statewide smoke forecasts;

  • Personalized alerts that notify users when a prescribed fire will be burning nearby (notifications can be set for multiple locations);

  • Current Air Quality Index (AQI) data to help users make health-based decisions; and,

  • Additional information on prescribed fire, its benefits, and how users can protect themselves from smoke.

The app is part of the state’s overall strategy to improve the health and resilience of California’s forests and wildlands, and will be integrated with the work of the Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force to encourage increased use of prescribed fire to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire. The app is available for download in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. For more information, see CARB’s announcement here.