Air Quality Report - 8.17.2013
Incident: Forks Complex (includes Butler Fire ) Wildfire
Bulter Fire, Salmon River Complex, and Corral Complex-Air Quality Report Saturday, August 17, 2013
Prepared by: Mark Fitch and Ryan Bauer
Yesterday, August 16, 2013
Smoke production from the Corral Complex, Butler Fire, and Salmon River Complex was low. Air quality impacts to Happy Camp, Somes Bar, Orleans, Weitchpec, and Hoopa were minimal. Etna, Ft. Jones, and Yreka all saw moderate impacts in the early evening. Sawyers Bar and Forks of Salmon air quality improved slightly, but still remains in the very unhealthy range.
Saturday, August 17, 2013
The morning modeling runs indicate a shift in transport winds, from southwest to north-northeast. The more likely scenario is a less dramatic shift of the winds resulting in light north-northeast surface winds that local winds patterns will eventually dominate. During this period of transition, atmospheric dispersion will decrease and smoke will pool and flow into low-lying areas. Communities south of the fires—Weitchpec, Hoopa, Willow Creek, Cecilville, The Cedars, maybe as far south as Weaverville—are going to see more smoke, and AQI levels that will range from moderate to unhealthily for sensitive groups. Light smoke and haze at Somes Bar all day, however, the AQI levels will hover in the good to moderate range. Air Quality in Happy Camp improves with AQI levels in the good range. Afternoon and early evening impacts will again occur in Enta and Ft. Jones with AQI in the moderate range.
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Morning smoke will linger a bit longer due to lighter surface and transport winds. Air quality levels in Sawyers Bar and Forks of Salmon peaks in the very healthy levels. During the day smoke will lift and flow to the south, giving air quality some slight improvement during the day. Air Quality in Willow Creek, Hoopa and Weitchpec hovers between moderate and unhealthily for sensitive groups due to the north-northeast surface winds. Orleans and Somes Bar air quality will hover in the moderate range, while Happy Camp’s air quality will be in the good range, with an hour or two in the moderate range. Etna, Ft Jones and Yreka air quality improves slightly, but AQI will get into the moderate levels for a short period in the evening.
Over the next couple of days winds will become light and variable, local diurnal winds will dominate. This pattern will continue through the weekend, as we return to a south-southwest wind pattern. Atmospheric dispersion during this period will decrease, reducing smoke transport, and increasing the chance for poor air quality, including areas south of the Butler, Salmon complex, and Corral complex fires.
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