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Aerosol particle statistics during wildfire events and their impact on air quality in Reno, NV
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Ambient aerosol examination is an important task for a number of reasons, including air pollution, public health impacts, visibility and climate change. While there are numerous studies relating the direct impact of small airborne particles on the above-mentioned fields, not much information exists on the impact of wildfire on urban aerosol properties. This research focuses on the investigating differences between measured urban aerosol size parameters between wildfire events and periods unaffected by fire plumes in Reno, NV, as well as what implications these differences might have on Reno’s environmental conditions and human health.In order to achieve that, a Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS) instrument was installed inside the Desert Research Institute (DRI) building in Northern Reno, Nevada. The SMPS operated constantly between July 13th of 2017 and August 13th of 2018. The aerosol data was then downloaded, converted and analyzed using Python scripts in order to visualize and compare the variability of the air particle statistics and how it relates to forest fire smoke impacts. Particle number mean volume concentration was on average 13 to 15 times higher during the wildfire events, than that of the non-wildfire baseline events samples.