Category Archives: Uncategorized

Air Resource Advisor Training Class

On May 15-18, 2017, Forest Service Fire & Aviation Management, the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and Pacific Northwest Research Station AirFire Team will host a 4-day training class in Boise to train a select group of individuals on the current state of wildland fire air quality tools and how to fill the role of Air Resource Advisor during a wildland fire incident.

A team of ARA’s and the Program Leader will assess all candidates for the class.

Deadline for class applications is 3/24/2017

View Full Announcement

Experimental Model Shows Relative Impacts of California Fires

The High Resoultion, Rapid Refresh model, a rapid update, high res weather model has added an experimental smoke module. Using satellite data to estimate the intensity of various fires, it then makes predictions of both near-surface smoke as well as the column smoke, incorporating smoke aloft.

This loop from the 1200 UTC run on September 28, 2016 captures the relative impact of three fires in the area, with a particularly large contribution coming from the Loma Fire south of San Jose.

#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.

howto1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2.

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

howto2

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Research on Pioneer Fire by San Jose State Fire Weather Lab

Pioneer-Fire-900x506

San Jose State University’s Fire Weather Lab is doing research on the convective smoke column produced by the Pioneer Fire.  A description of their research can be found on the Wildfire Today website with this link:  http://wildfiretoday.com/

 

Additionally, the SJSU’s Fire Weather Lab Twitter page has numerous information and pictures from the Pioneer Fire found with this link:  https://twitter.com/FireWeatherLab

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