Author Archives: Kathleen Stewart

#SoberanesFire — Want to Know Your Current Air Quality?

How to Find Out What Your Air Quality Is Right Now

Every morning, the Soberanes Fire team puts out an Air Quality forecast for the day. We also forecast when the best time of day will be. We do this to help you prepare for and plan your day around potential smoke impacts, especially for people who are more likely to feel the effects of smoke exposure. You can find these forecasts at the CA Smoke Blog, which you can follow on twitter. We also post these on fire information boards throughout the area. We issue forecasts in Spanish as well. Help us get the word out and share these forecasts with your friends, family, and community.

Thanks to the Monterey Bay Air Resources District, we’ve got 19 monitoring stations placed in communities in the area. If you have internet access, here’s how you can check what the air quality is in your community, anytime day or night.

Step 1.

Go to the AirNow website for Current Fire Conditions. A map like the one below will open up.












Step 2.

Click on the grey bar on the right-hand side of the screen








Step 3.

Turn on all the layers. Click the bar again to return to the full map. The colored circles or triangles are the air quality monitors, the grey blobs represent models of where the smoke is going. The flames show where fires are.







Step 4.

Find the monitor (the colored triangle or circle) closest to you and refer to the Air Quality Index chart below to determine what your air quality is currently like by matching the color of the monitor to the Air Quality Index (“AQI”). The Air Quality Index is designed to be applied to conditions averaged over an entire day. That’s why you might see a couple spikes of high air pollution levels on the monitor when you check but a lower level reflected in the air quality forecast.

Step 5.

If air quality is bothering you, check out ways to reduce your exposure.

Red Flag Warning In Effect for Soberanes Fire

A Red Flag Warning is in effect from 3 pm Wednesday through 9 pm Thursday for the Soberanes Fire. The warning has been issued due to strong, west to northwest winds Wednesday afternoon associated with a dry cold front. Very strong NW winds will develop Wednesday night after the front moves across the area with gusts of 30 to 40 mph expected along the ridges. Humidity will remain dry in the 20-30% range along the upper ridges. The likely increase in fire activity can increase smoke production and impacts, particularly in communities to the east and south. Check your air quality forecast daily for updates at the CA Smoke Blog, and if smoke becomes too heavy reduce your outdoor activity.

Soberanes Smoke Plume Over Salinas Valley

Soberanes Smoke Plume Over Salinas Valley