Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wednesday, September 21, 2016: Lakes Fire Smoke Effects Forecast #6

Yosemite National Park                                                                                               
Prepared: 9/21/16                                                                                                                          
Prepared by:  Jim McNitt, Air Resource Specialist
Overview: The Lakes Fire is burning in the Chilnualna Lakes area, between Turner Meadow and Buena Vista Peak at about 8,000 feet in a designated wilderness area in Mariposa County. It is a lightning-caused fire that is being monitored and managed for resource and wildlife benefit. Managing fires that are started by lightning reduces the risk of high intensity fires and benefits the ecosystem. The size is estimated to be approximately 587 acres based on ground reconnaissance completed on 9/17/16. 
Smoke Synopsis: A temperature inversion trapped smoke from wildfires overnight, including the Soberanes and Canyon fires, but the temperature inversion will break down and the vertical mixing of the PM2.5 will improve by noon today.  Overnight smoke settled down the Chilnualna drainage to Wawona through the early morning today and several hourly PM2.5 readings at Wawona were greater than 35 µg/m3 this morning.  Smoke form the Lakes Fire will be transported to the northeast this afternoon and to the east tomorrow with strong transport winds. Smoke transport on Friday will be to the south.
Air Quality Outlook: An approaching cold front will improve dispersion conditions this afternoon. Expect gusty winds and good vertical mixing of smoke as the front moves through late Wednesday/early Thursday. Dispersion conditions will remain good through Friday and will be fair to good during the weekend.
9/20/16 Observed*
9/21/16 Forecasted
9/22/16  Forecasted
Details for avoiding smoke during the worst hours of the day
Yosemite Valley

El Portal

People with heart or lung disease, children and older adults should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion today and during the morning throughout the weekend. 
Disclaimer:  Air quality predictions reflect only fine particulate matter (PM2.5). Sensitive individuals including people with asthma or heart disease, infants, children, pregnant women and older adults should take precautions to avoid exposure to smoke. If you experience health effects from smoke, contact your health professional. *The Air Quality Index (AQI) values used to create the following table are 24-hr averages (midnight-midnight local time). Locations listed in the above table can experience periods of poorer air quality than the24-hr average.

24 hr AQI Category
(PM2.5 µg/m3)
Potential Health Impacts
Actions to Protect Yourself
Good (0-12)
Little or no health risk
Moderate (13-35)
Air quality is acceptable for most. There may be moderate health concern for a small number of sensitive people.
Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups – USG (36-55)
Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects.  The general public is not likely to be affected.
People with heart or lung disease, children and older adults should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.  Everyone else should limit prolonged or heavy exertion.
Unhealthy (56-150)

Everyone may begin to experience more serious health effects.
The following groups should avoid all physical outdoor activity: People with heart or lung disease, children and older adults.  Everyone else should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.
Very Unhealthy
Triggers a health alert, everyone may experience more serious health effects
Everyone should avoid any outdoor exertion; people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should remain indoors.
Hazardous (>250)
The entire population is even more likely to be affected by serious health effects.
The following groups should remain indoors and keep activity levels low: People with heart or lung disease; children and older adults. Everyone else should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion
Learn more at:
Air Monitor Data                                                
California Smoke Blog                                                                        
Air Districts                                        
AirNow (AQI forecasts and nowcasts)                     

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