Author Archives: Andrea Nick

U.S. Forest Service 626-590-4451 Based out of: Arcadia, Ca Role: ARA Since: 2014

Whitewater Fire- Lots of haze in Central Oregon

Little growth on the Whitewater Fire west of Sister, OR has been reported for several days.  The potential for smoke still exists as operations to secure fire lines are planned for later in the week. Smoke has been diffuse and is adding incrementally to the widespread haze has been seen in Central Oregon east of the Cascades.

The image below was taken around 1pm on August 8th, 2017 facing southeast from Black Butte near Sisters, OR.  The mountains in the background are obscured by haze.

BlackButte_20170808

Thursday, August 25th 2016 Southern California Smoke Report

South Ops Smoke Report

Covering the Chimney and Ray Fires

August 25th, 2016

Prepared by: Andrea Nick

South Ops GACC Wide

  • No new large fires been reported in the last 24 hours. This will be the last report for South Ops. Individual Air Resource Advisors (ARAs) will be reporting for their respective fires.
  • Heat from the large South Ops fires was visible from yesterday’s afternoon GOES imagery, first image below.
  • Smoke from the Soberanes, Rey, Cedar, and Chimney were clearly visible from yesterday’s MODIS Terra imagery, second image below.20160824_IR_FogProduct20160824_TERRA_Satellite

Chimney Fire (San Louis Obispo County)

  • Official acreage reported at 43,663 at 39% containment with a growth of over 4,000 acres in 24 hours.
  • Last night’s IR shows lots of scattered heat in the north flank of the fire, the western portion of the south flank of the fire has intense heat signature. An image of the IR map is included below.
  • The Lockwood monitor and is up and reporting once again. Smoke concentrations were of lighter intensity yesterday (Wednesday) than Tuesday even with increased fire growth.
    Chimney Fire
    Monitoring Summary (based on Air Quality Index (AQI) for each 24-hr day)
    Site Yesterday’s 24 hour AQI Notes about today
    Paso Robles Good Typically smokiest from 12pm-3pm.
    Lockwood   Machinery issue resolved, awaiting a full 24 hours of reporting for AQI values.
    Heritage Ranch (Lake Nacimiento Area) Moderate Typically  smokiest from 2pm – 6pm.
    San Miguel Good  
    Cambria Good Typically smokiest from 11am- 1pm
    Atascadero Good  
    San Luis Obispo Good Typically smokiest from 10am – 1pm during the day, and some smoke overnight.

    20160825_IRChimneyFire

Ray Fire (Santa Barbara County)

  • Acreage now at 31,505 with containment 39% containment, the fire grow just under 300 acres in the last 24 hours.
  • PM 2.5 monitors in the area have only reported “moderate” AQI as the highest concentrations since that start of this incident.
  • Very little intense heat was detected on last night’s IR map.
Rey Fire
Monitoring Summary (based on Air Quality Index (AQI) for each 24-hr day)
Site Yesterday’s 24 hour AQI Notes about today
San Luis Obispo Good Typically smokiest from 10am – 1pm during the day, and some smoke overnight.
Nipomo Good  
Lopoc         Good  
Santa Ynez Moderate  
Goleta Good Typically smokiest from 8am – 2pm
Santa Maria Good Typically smokiest from 10am – 1pm during the day, and some smoke overnight.
Santa Barbara Moderate Typically smokiest from 9am – 4pm

20160825_IRClip ReyFire

Tuesday, August 23rd 2016 Southern California Smoke Report

South Ops Smoke Report

Covering the Chimney and Ray Fires

August 23rd, 2016

Prepared by: Andrea Nick

South Ops GACC Wide

  • Two new fires been reported in the last 24 hours: 1) the Tule Fire on the Sequoia National Forest at 300-400 acres and 2) Mokelumne Fire at 147 acres.
  • Blue Cut Fire 100% contained.
  • Just short of 400 lightning strikes in the Sierras and over 1,100 strikes within South Ops jurisdiction. New fires may emerge as the weather dries out and cloud cover from thunderstorms reduces.
  • Temperatures will cool a couple degrees today, with mid 70s to mid 80sacross the mountains and mid 80s to mid 90s in the valleys.
  • Minimum humidity will be mainly between 15% and 30% away from the coastal areas today.

The image below is an IR satellite image of the Soberanes, Chimney, and Rey Fire from yesterday afternoon.  The Cedar Fire is not visible due to large thunderstorms over the Sierras.  The new Tule Fire is visible on IR this morning.  Fires shown in white.

GOES_IR_20160822_1500

 

Chimney Fire (San Louis Obispo County)

  • Official acreage reported at 37,101 at 35% containment.
  • Overnight IR map indicates growth of about 6,000 acres. An image of the IR map is included below.  Growth was mostly on the northeast flank of the fire.  Much less intense heat recorded than the previous day.
  • Air quality conditions improved around the Chimney Fire yesterday compared to the previous day. As the smoke plume went out towards the coast. It is possible that some smaller coastal communities received smoke north of Cambria, but no monitoring stations are located in that area to confirm.  See the table below for yesterday’s conditions.

20160823_ChimneyFire_MonitoringTable

20160823_ChimneyIR_Clip

 

Ray Fire (Santa Barbara County)

  • Rapid growth all day yesterday, total acreage now at 29,664 with containment 20% containment.
  • Fire was active yesterday. About 6,000 acres of growth.
  • Late afternoon winds pushed the smoke plume over Santa Barbara in the afternoon/evening. Smoke stayed aloft.  Some smoke was visible in the evening hours in the LA Basin.
  • PM 2.5 monitors in the area have only reported “moderate” AQI as the highest concentrations since that start of this incident. A map showing general proximity to the fire and monitoring stations is included below.

20160823_ReyFire_MonitoringTable

Below: An example of yesterday’s large pyrocumulus seen from webcam on the Rey Fire.

20160822_1547_ReyFireSmokePlume

20160823_ReyFire_IRClip

Tule Fire (Tulare County) ***New***

  • Currently reported at 300-400 acres with 0% containment, map of fire area below.
  • Type 2 team on order
  • Camp Nelson and Porterville are the closest PM 2.5 Monitors. Current smoke impacts at these sites are likely to be influenced by the Cedar Fire.
  • This fire may be covered in greater detail as the incident progresses.

TuleFireLocation

Monday, August 22nd 2016 Southern California Smoke Report

South Ops Smoke Report

Covering the Chimney and Ray Fires

August 22nd, 2016

Prepared by: Andrea Nick

South Ops GACC Wide

  • The GACC Predictive Services group identifies today as an elevated lightening threat for the central, southern, and eastern Sierras.
  • At this time, no new large fires have been reported.
  • Max temperatures today are expected to be seasonally normal with minimum relative humidity in areas away from the coast at 15-30%.
  • Smoke was widespread along the central coast yesterday due to the combination of the Soberanes, Chimney, and Rey Fires. The image below is a satellite image of yesterday’s smoke.

20160821_SmokeAcrossSoCal_LablesHRes

Chimney Fire (San Louis Obispo County)

  • Official acreage reported at 31,664 at 35% containment.
  • Overnight IR map indicates growth of about 7,000 acres. An image of the IR map is included below.  Growth was mostly on the north flank of the fire and intense heat was recorded in that area. Additional intense heat was recorded on the northwest flank.
  • Smoke plume travelled north-northwest all day yesterday.
  • Air Quality conditions deteriorated around the Chimney Fire yesterday compared to the previous day. Many sites recorded good on Saturday, Sunday saw many moderates and a USG. See the table below.
Chimney Fire
Monitoring Summary (based on Air Quality Index (AQI) for each 24-hr day)
Site Yesterday’s 24 hour AQI Notes about today
Paso Robles Moderate  
Lockwood USG Typically smokiest from 11am – 4pm.
Heritage Ranch (Lake Nacimiento Area)  

Moderate

Typically  smokiest from 11am – 7pm.
San Miguel Moderate  
Cambria Moderate Typically smokiest from 11am- 1pm
Atascadero Good

20160822_ChimneyFire_IR_clip

Ray Fire (Santa Barbara County)

  • Rapid growth all day yesterday, total acreage now at 23,546 with containment 20% containment.
  • Fire appears to be active again this morning with a plume visible from the Red Mountain webcam at 7:30am, image included below. Check http://www.rntl.net/venturacountyfirecams.htm for real-time images.
  • Smoke plume travelled northwest for most of the day.
  • Transition to a Type I team is expected to occur either today or tomorrow.
  • PM 2.5 monitors in the area have only reported “moderate” AQI as the highest concentrations since that start of this incident. A map showing general proximity to the fire and monitoring stations is included below.

 

Rey Fire
Monitoring Summary (based on Air Quality Index (AQI) for each 24-hr day)
Site Yesterday’s 24 hour AQI Notes about today
San Luis Obispo Moderate Typically smokiest from 10am – 1pm during the day and some smoke overnight.
Nipomo Good Good, but smoke concentrations are trending upward.
Lopoc         Good  
Santa Ynez Moderate Smoke concentrations trending upwards over the last few days.
Goleta Moderate Typically smokiest from 8am – 2pm
Santa Maria Moderate

20160822_ReyFire_IR_clip

August 19th 2016 Southern California Smoke Summary

South Ops Smoke Report

Covering the Cedar, Chimney, and Ray Fires

August 19th, 2016

Prepared by: Andrea Nick

South Ops GACC Wide

  • A total of 5 large fires within the South Ops jurisdiction.
  • Red Flag warnings remain in place for the Cleveland, San Bernardino, and Angeles National Forests and some desert areas.
  • Most locations will have an afternoon sea breezy, deserts may see winds of 15-25. Some wind prone areas may see gusts of 40mph.  Slight cooling trend will continue till early next week. Easterly flow aloft.
  • Lightning strikes were recorded yesterday. The vast majority within South Ops jurisdiction were in the eastern desert. With a few strikes along the crest.  Today and tomorrow are likely to be the greatest chance of lightning in the South Ops region for the near future.
  • Widespread smoke across the central part of the state this morning depicted in the image below. Fires locations are shown in red.

SouthOpsFiresSmoke_20160819

BlueSky modelled smoke dispersion at 12:00pm today.

BlueSky20160819_1200

BlueSky modelled smoke at 9:00pm tonight. Impacts from Blue Cut and Rey Fires are likely to be over predicted.

BlueSky20160819_2100

 

Cedar Fire (Tulare and Kern Counties)

  • Rapid growth yesterday with active burn period throughout the evening and into early this morning.
  • Current acreage reported at 9,500 with 5% containment.
  • Low RH recovery reported overnight.
  • Last night’s IR map shows intense heat on all but the southern most flank of the fire. An image of the map is included below.
  • Webcams show very active fire behavior this morning as seen from the example of Sherman Peak webcam below.

ShermanPeak_CedarFire_20160819_0657

CedarFireIR_20160819

Chimney Fire (San Louis Obispo County)

  • Active fire behavior throughout the day starting in the morning hours where previously fire activity did not start until mid afternoon.
  • Official acreage reported at 11,999 at 33% containment. No known burnouts are planned.
  • Overnight IR map indicates growth of about 3,000 acres. An image of the IR map is included below.  Growth was mostly on southwest flank of the fire and intense heat was recorded on the IR map in that area.
  • Images below were taken yesterday afternoon depicting general terrain of the area and vegetation density surrounding the fire. Vegetation communities include: Chaparral, oak savanna, and dense trees on north facing slopes.
Chimney Fire
Sites with air quality monitors (based on Air Quality Index (AQI) for each 24-hr day)
Site Yesterday’s 24 hour AQI Notes about today
Paso Robles Good  
Lockwood Moderate Typically smokiest from 10am – 3pm.
Heritage Ranch (Lake Nacimiento Area)  

Moderate

Typically  smokiest from 2pm – 6pm.
San Miguel (Coming Soon)    
Cambria (Coming Soon)  

ChimneyFireIR_20160819

 

Ray Fire (Santa Barbara County)

  • New start yesterday with rapid growth in the late afternoon hours.
  • Currently reported at 600 acres with 20% containment.
  • Smoke plume visible from satellite about an hour after fire was reported, image included below.
  • Windier conditions expected today in the area of the fire.
  • A Type II team is expect to assume command later today.

RayFireSmokePlume_20180818_1600

 

 

August 18th 2016 Southern California Smoke Summary

South Ops Smoke Report

August 18th, 2016

Prepared by: Andrea Nick and Josh Hall

 

South Ops GACC Wide

  • Increasing instability and potential for thunderstorms along the Sierra Crest today and tomorrow. Eleven lightning strikes were recorded yesterday. No new starts reported.
  • Weather is forecast to continue a slight cooling trend but breezy conditions are expected today and tomorrow.
  • Low relative humidity expected in areas not affected by the marine layer.
  • Red Flag warnings remain in place for the Cleveland, San Bernardino, and Angeles National Forests and some desert areas.
  • Smoke from multiple fires can be seen across much of Southern California this morning, image included below.

SoCalFireSmoke20160818

 

Cedar Fire

20160817_2017_TobiasPeak_CedarFireCedarFire_IR_20160818

Blue Cut Fire (San Bernardino County)

  • Acreage was revised downward due to more accurate mapping. Now at 25,656 with 4% containment.
  • Fire spread has slowed compared to the first day of the fire however, the fire has established itself in denser vegetation. Smoke production may remain similar even though acreage consumption has slowed. Fire had three active flanks yesterday, two could be seen at 6:30am this morning.
  • Extreme fire behavior observed yesterday. Local weather observations were recorded at 103with 3% RH yesterday afternoon. Expecting similar weather conditions today.
  • Last night’s IR map shows a large chunk of intense heat near the Wrightwood area. This area has denser vegetation than areas burned during the first day.  Map included below.

BlueCut_IR_20160818

Chimney Fire (San Louis Obispo County)

  • Current acreage reported at 9,000 with 30% containment.
  • Fire was active yesterday and reported to be active early this morning. Previously, the fire has been quiet until the afternoon hours. Management is looking at a larger containment area in the upcoming decision.
  • Less intense heat was recorded on last night’s IR on the southern and western flanks than the previous day. IR image is included below.
  • Temporary smoke monitors are in the process of being deployed to communities around the fire.

ChimneyFireIR_20160817

Multiple Fires in Southern California

South Ops Smoke Report

August 17th, 2016

Prepared by: Andrea Nick

 Cedar Fire

  • Started yesterday on the Sequoia National Forest.
  • A Type 1 Incident Management Team is scheduled to arrive today at 11am
  • 500 acres with 0% containment.
  • Today’s weather is expected to be breezy with 15-25mph gusts with single digit RH and low overnight recovery. This weather pattern is expected to continue for a few days.
  • This fire is within an area of high tree mortality with rapid rates of spread reported yesterday.
  • The Tobias Peak Webcam faces the fire and is showing smoke column development starting at 7am this morning. http://rockyags.cr.usgs.gov/cgi-bin/camHist_movie.pl?camera=tobias_peak_2&visible=false&date=20160817&frame=16
  • Smoke pooled into the canyon areas. Remnants of yesterday’s plume can been seen along with the Blue Cut Fire traveling into central Nevada this morning, image is included below.
  • No infrared (IR) map available at this time.

BlueCut_CedarFire

Blue Cut Fire (San Bernardino County)

  • Current acreage at 30,000 with 0% containment.
  • Extreme fire behavior observed yesterday. Local weather observations were recorded at 103with 5% RH yesterday afternoon. Expecting similar weather conditions today.
  • Well defined smoke column visible on satellite this morning, image included above.
  • A federal and state Type I teams are expected to take over fire command today.
  • Last night’s IR map shows pockets of intense heat, especially in areas of denser vegetation in the mountainous areas. Map included below.

BlueCut_IR_20160817

Chimney Fire (San Louis Obispo County)

  • Current acreage reported at 7,300 with 25% containment.
  • Fire was active on the south flank yesterday afternoon. The fire has burned passed dozer lines on the south and southeast flanks.  Peak burning hours were 3pm-3am yesterday and similar activity is expected today.
  • Poor relative humidity (RH) recovery overnight. Low RH at 9% was recorded at 5pm   Gusts
  • Intense heat was recorded on last night’s IR on the southern and western flanks. IR image is included below.
  • An active plume could be seen on satellite last night around 8pm, image is included below.ChimneyFireIR_20160816CedarFire_yesterday20160816_