Air Quality Report - 8.20.2013
Incident: Forks Complex (includes Butler Fire ) Wildfire
Butler Fire, Salmon River Complex, and Corral Complex-Air Quality Report
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Prepared by: Mark Fitch and Ryan Bauer
Yesterday, August 19, 2013
Smoke production from the Corral Complex and Butler Fire increased as each grew 1,105 and 1,585 acres, respectably. Smoke from the Salmon River Complex remained low. Northeast winds kept smoke impacts in the fire area lower than over past days. Weaverville, Junction City, and Big Bar had moderate impacts throughout the day. Orleans and Weitchpec were moderately impacted for a few hours in the afternoon but cleared by evening. Sawyers Bar and Forks of Salmon, while still in the unhealthy range overall had a few hours of good air quality for the first time in weeks.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
With the approaching low this morning the winds are in transition. Smoke transport winds this morning are from the west to southwest, however, this will be short lived. By afternoon to early evening they will switch to east to north-northeast. Smoke will impact communities along the northwest coast of California; however, there will only be light PM concentrations during the day; late night into early morning could see an hour or two the moderate levels. Reduced fire activity on the Salmon River complex should result in better air quality in Sawyers Bar and Forks of Salmon areas, however a short period in the unhealthy to unhealthy for sensitive groups range is possible in the late afternoon. Air quality in Willow Creek, Hoopa and Weitchpec hovers between good and moderate. Smoke from the Butler fire will continue to drain down New River, towards the Trinity River; communities in the drainage will see moderate smoke impacts for short periods. 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 will remain in the good range for most of the day, but by late afternoon the AQI will get into the moderate range for a short period.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Thunderstorms and lighting are in store. Stronger winds from the north to northeast will transport smoke to the southwest. Eureka and southern Humboldt County will experience light smoke, with the highest 3-hour average in the moderate range. Etna, Ft. Jones, and Yreka will be in the good range all day, with only light impacts possible in the afternoon. Willow creek, Hoopa and Weitchpec will see impacts as the northeast winds move through, with air quality levels in the moderate to unhealthy for sensitive groups range. Air quality in the communities near Weaverville will improve over past days with AQI levels returning to the good range. Orleans and Somes Bar air quality will hover in the moderate range in the early morning hours, clearing by early afternoon. Happy Camp’s air quality will remain good.
The cut off low remains off the cost of Monterey bringing moisture to the Sierra crest. The low will move slowly onshore Tuesday into Wednesday, moving northward on Thursday, and increasing the chance for local thundershowers and lighting. After the low moves through the area, winds will shift to the west to southwest.
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