Salmon River Complex Air Quality Report for August 21, 2013
Incident: Salmon River Complex Wildfire
Yesterday, August 20, 2013
Smoke production from the Corral Complex and Butler Fire continues as each grew 3,123 and 1,057 acres, respectively. Smoke from the Salmon River Complex remained low as the last few interior islands continue to burn. Smoke impacts from the fires remained low. Willow Creek, Somes Bar, Hoopa, and Crescent City all experienced air quality in the moderate range late in the day, except Crescent City, where impacts occurred during the morning hours. Orleans began experiencing air quality in the unhealthy for sensitive groups range late last night, continuing into this morning due to an inversion. Sawyers Bar and Forks of Salmon experienced unhealthy air quality for a short time in the afternoon, but generally saw air quality in the good range for most of the day.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
With the low moving on shore, the winds shift from east to south or southeast, before becoming more westerly early Thursday. Smoke from Oregon fires continues to drift south, with impacts from Crescent City to southern Humboldt County. Smoke impacts to Somes Bar and Orleans should see some improvement in the late morning when smoke will start to lift, before smoke rolls back in during the afternoon, likely reaching the unhealthy for sensitive groups for a few hours. These impacts should remain north of Weitchpec, Hoopa, and Willow Creek where air quality should not exceed the moderate range. By mid-afternoon, as the winds switch to a more southerly flow smoke will affect the Happy Camp area. By late afternoon to evening the Trinity River drainage may be affected with light smoke as well.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
As the low moves towards the northeast, a change to southwest to west transport winds will occur. Air quality in Happy camp will be in the good to moderate range. The Butler fire will affect Somes Bar and Orleans as smoke drains out of the Salmon River towards the Klamath River. AQI levels in Sawyers Bar may get into the unhealthy range for a few hours, with most of the day in the unhealthy for sensitive groups range. Etna and Ft. Jones will experience light haze most of the day, with just a few hours in the moderate range in the early morning before clearing. The air quality in Willow Creek will be in the good range, with light haze in the afternoon from the Corral Complex. Hoopa and Weitchpec will remain in the good AQI range most of the day, getting in the moderate range during the night. The communities near Weaverville will have good air quality with light haze at times.
The cut off low will begin to move onshore over northern California late Wednesday into early Thursday. By Friday afternoon, new low-pressure system starts to build, heading towards the north coast. As the system approaches the winds will be out of the west, turning southwest by Saturday or early Sunday. This system will be drier with higher wind speeds likely to increase fire activity in the region.
See photograph section for the air quality summary for August 21, 2013