Friday, August 1, 2014

Friday, August 1, 2014 - Update on Central California smoke (El Portal and French Fires)

Smoke over Central California from the French wildfire and the El Portal wildfire has been affecting air quality at the surface since late last week (7/26/14), as observed by the Hazard Mapping System: 

El Portal wildfire emissions should taper off substantially over the next few days, barring any unexpected fire behavior. Because the weather will likely remain hot and dry for the next couple days, the trend for French wildfire emissions is uncertain. Impacts in the Unhealthy to Unhealthy for Sensitive groups Air Quality Index (AQI) levels associated with these emissions will likely continue to be felt in the region around this fire, especially in foothill communities around the fire.

Satellite imagery today, overlaid with our monitoring sites, shows where smoke monitors have been deployed relative to the fires.  In the image below, smoke is gray/blue or brown, while the clouds are the small puffy white objects.  Monitoring sites are labeled in yellow, marked in red.

Monitors show that while locations in the vicinity of the El Portal fire are improving, those under the influence of the French wildfire are still being impacted. These impacts are likely to continue for the next couple days until crews can overcome hot and dry conditions to slow the growth of the fire. Below is a rundown of the impacts and outlook at the monitoring sites, color coded according to the AQI.

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