Smoke Impact Summary #1 Soberanes Wildfire
Air Basin: North Center Coast CAL Fire IMT 4 w/ USFS
Issued for July 29th, 2016 Prepared by: Gary M. Curcio
Time: 4:00 PM Air Resource Advisor
Fire Status & Key Points:
1. Fire has burned approximately 31,386 acres as of 7/29/16.
2. Yesterday the fire increased in size by approximately 4,064 acres.
3. The expected growth for today is 5,000 acres.
Photo: Thursday 7/28 at 8:45 PM. MODIS heat signatures identified active burning on the fire’s east side. The red heat signatures are 0 – 12 hours old while the orange heat signatures 12 – 24 hours old. The fuels for the Soberanes Fire are extremely dry and are setting new record highs for the energy they can release when burning. This makes suppression effort difficult and wildland smoke emissions plentiful.
Photo: Friday 7/29 at 4:45 AM. MODIS red heat signatures are more numerous and identify additional areas of intense burning versus in the photo above. Smoke production is occurring along NE, SE, S, SW and NW of the fire’s perimeter from the fire itself and burnouts. The fuels for the Soberanes Fire are extremely dry and are setting new record highs for the energy they can release when burning. This makes suppression effort difficult and wildland smoke emissions plentiful.
4. The extent of smoke production was significant yesterday. Contributions were from burnout operations, residual burning and fire growth. With the wind pattern being experienced smoke today we expect plumes to be moving to the N/NE. This smoke will be capped by a Marine Layer (inversion).
Photo: NOAA Hazard Mapping System quantifies three layers of smoke: light, medium & dense. It doesn’t define at what vertical level these layers of smoke occur. It does provide valuable information as to the potential horizontal extent of the smoke plume or zone of influence. AQ monitors have been deployed in the Salinas Valley communities, Carmel Valley and to the N/NE (Gilroy & Hollister).
5. The deployed monitor readings are provided in the fire’s Smoke Impact Forecast and its AQ Outlook Table. This can be used for planning personal activities. For each station AQI information is provided on what was observed yesterday. This provides a reference point for when reviewing the forecasted AQ Today and Tomorrow.
6. Around 6:30 this morning the Soberanes smoke plume advances to the SE stopped. It then proceeded to retreat and by 8:30 begin moving to the NE . This was captured by satellite imagery and various monitors in the Salinas Valley. PM levels went higher. The Carmel Valley monitor reached 44 μ ̸ m³ at 11:30 AM.
7. The Marine layer / inversion is having two distinct effects; 1) walling off and 2) capping off the fire’s smoke. The smoke above inversion is abundant is being prevented in getting to the surface. However, it is being transported to the San Joaquin Valley and Sierra Foothills. The smoke below the inversion during the day is being lifted but only to the bottom of the inversion. This facilitates better air quality at the surface.
8. Blue-Sky Framework snapshots will be eventually provided. However, there are details that require some work before this can be done.