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UC Riverside Joins Forces with Fire Lab

Department of Defense Approves $1.7 million to Measure the Impacts of Controlled Burns

UC Riverside partners with research scientists from the U.S. Forest Service

(October 17, 2007)

Wayne Miller, researcher at UCR's CE-CERTEnlarge

Wayne Miller, researcher at UCR's CE-CERT

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- A $1.7 million grant was approved Oct. 17 at a meeting near Washington D.C. to support research that will help understand how controlled burns impact air pollution emissions.

The three-year research project combines the expertise of the research scientists with the U.S Forest Service with researchers from the University of California, Riverside, and is funded by the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP).

SERDP, part of the Department of Defense, funds projects that address environmental impacts of the military.

"This is important work that will help us measure what kind of impacts there are from the kinds of controlled burns used on military lands," said UC Riverside's Wayne Miller, the lead investigator, who is a researcher with the College of Engineering’s Center for Research and Technology. (CE-CERT).

The work will be performed at several Department of Defense installations in California and Arizona. Partners include the University of Montana and the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey. The Forest Service Fire Labs in Riverside, Missoula, and Seattle are involved in the work.

Military land managers use prescribed burns to clear training areas or to reduce wildfire risk, but they frequently have no way of measuring the impacts of those burns on nearby population areas or on native habitats.

The research will help the Department of Defense model the possible impacts, helping the permit process and saving the Department of Defense time and money, while still managing wildfire risks and smoke impacts on people living nearby.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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