Smoke Impact Summary #24 Soberanes Wildfire
Air Basin: North Center Coast Alaska IMT Type 1
Issued for September 12th, 2016 Prepared by: Gary M. Curcio ARA
Time 10:00 PM Kathleen Stewart ARA (T)
Fire Status & Key Points:
1. September 12th the total fire acreage was reported at 105,705 acres.
2. There was an additional 1,858 acres of new fire growth from the previous day.
Acre totals for 1 and 2 had to be readjusted with return of IR Flights.
3. Projected smoke emission impact for tomorrow, Tuesday September 13th is estimated at 1,240 acres. This includes:
a. 640 acres for the burnout operation along the Coastal Ridge Rd from Marble Peak to Rodeo Flat. Approximately 2 miles along Coastal Ridge Rd was ignited during Monday’s burn window. Each day burning conditions are being evaluated and when in prescription, burnout ignition starts. It is expected to take several days to complete this task. Once completed, the total acreage that can be consumed is estimated at 9,000 acres. What was ignited on Monday affords the possibility to consume 3,200 acres over the next few days. These acres are part of the total acreage.
b. 600 acres for active burning fire on the south and southeast fire perimeter. On Monday, North Fork drainage burned with intensity that was driven by wind with stable air. During active fire growth much of the lower level smoke was sheared and transported to the east. This was modelled to extend to E and NE trajectories. Tuesday is forecasted with cooler temperatures, increasing stability and an initial morning transport from west to east. Later in the afternoon this transitions to a lazy spread of smoke that is topography driven, we can expect more local smoke impacts to communities within the vicinity of the fire.
The above picture represents VIIRS & MODIS Satellite imageries at 10:45 PM 9/12/16. It shows the areas of major smoke production, red dot squares. These heat signatures were recorded in the last 12 hours. The fire perimeter is from the 9/11/16 night’s IR Flight. The burnout progressed successfully extending within the vicinity of Drop Point 107. Lost Valley was kept in check (very little fire spread due to aerial retardant drops) & N. Fork drainage consumed another bowl.
4. Extended Outlook for the next 7 days, September 9 – 15, “future smoke emission acreage” was projected on September 9th at 9,000 acres. This estimate will be revised as needed.
Long Term Outlook for beyond 2 weeks, the “big box concept” was projected at 51,200 acres.
5. As expected today burning became active in the North Fork Drainage and along the Coastal Ridge Rd where the burnout operation continued. What smoke columns were trying to form were also quickly sheared by strong transport winds. The burnout operation was again extremely successful. Air quality was affected to areas in close proximity to the fire (Big Sur, Tassajara and Arroyo Seco). In Salinas Valley strong Transport Wind Speeds sent dilute smoke quickly across into the Gabilan Range and into San Joaquin Valley. For Tuesday strong wind speeds with a S/SW transport will impact communities close to the fire at higher levels of degraded air quality that will also extend into the Salinas Valley.
Smoke did not lift high as it was sheared and moved quickly west to east. The view above is on River Rd looking towards Arroyo Seco.
6. IR Flight from 9/11/16.
IR flight shows that heat is from burnout operation and the natural run that occurred at the North Fork drainage.
7. Soberanes Fire Trajectories (12 hours at 10m, 500m, and 1000m) on September 12th starting at 3:00 PM. Major sources of smoke were used as a starting points for the trajectories. There was extensive transport of smoke across the Salinas Valley and into the San Joaquin Valley heading northeast. This was validated via modelled HYSPLIT Trajectories, Worldview Satellite and Visible Satellite imageries. Worldview imagery dislays the smoke plume within the Gabilean Range while Visible imagery (submitted by San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control) displays the smoke plume in the San Joaquin Valley.
8. The potential horizontal extent of smoke from the Soberanes Fire and others is displayed below from AirNow (left) and the NOAA Hazard Mapping System (right) for September 12th, 2016 (afternoon). NOAA Hazard Mapping System shaded areas represent three types of smoke: Light (green), Medium (yellow) and Red (dense). These colors are not defined by their height above ground. However, they usually provide valuable information concerning the horizontal expanse of wildfire’s smoke plume and its zone of influence. Today’s observed smoke activity at the Soberanes fire was consistent with these two mapping products.