Luke Montrose, assistant professor in the Department of Community and Environmental Health, facilitated the inaugural Rocky Mountain Regional Wildfire Smoke Symposium, which was hosted by Boise State’s Center for Excellence in Environmental Health and Safety.
The one-day symposium was held virtually on Nov.13 for academics, forest managers, researchers and those interested in learning more. Dr. John Balmes, professor of medicine at University of California San Francisco and professor of environmental health sciences in the School of Public Health at University of California Berkeley, gave the keynote titled “Where there’s fire, there’s smoke.” The morning focused on short presentations about the public health danger of wildfire smoke and community preparedness and the afternoon focused on the occupational health risks and mitigation for wildfire firefighters, including a panel discussion by current and former wildfire firefighters. The symposium closed with a networking session in the hopes of facilitating connections among professionals, academics and researchers.
The symposium concludes Montrose’s work in the last six months of interviews, including for NPR and CBS News, and articles for The Conversation about wildfire smoke as a public health risk and the dangers wildfire firefighters face during an intense fire season and a global pandemic.