Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 - Yosemite National Park Lakes Fire Smoke Effects Forecast #3

Yosemite National Park                                                                                               
Prepared: Tuesday, 9/13/16                                                                                                                   
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. An aerial reconnaissance of the Lakes Fire was conducted on 9/10/16. The size is estimated to be approximately 755 acres.
Smoke Synopsis: A prescribed burn is being conducted at Ahwahnee Meadow with ignitions on 9/12/16 and 9/13/16 for approximately 62 acres. Burn down will take 2 to 4 days during which time some smoke could be noticed at Ahwahnee Meadow.  A temperature inversion will trap smoke produced overnight in Yosemite Valley, including campfire smoke. The temperature inversion will break down by noon. Smoke from the Lakes Fire will be transported to the east this afternoon.  Overnight smoke settled down the Chilnualna drainage to Wawona through the early morning on Monday and several one hour PM2.5 readings at Wawona were greater than 35 µg/m3 yesterday morning.  This morning the PM2.5 levels have been much lower due to good dispersion conditions.
Air Quality Outlook: An upper-level trough over the area will cause good dispersion conditions today. High pressure will build behind the upper-level trough as it exits the area tomorrow and will cause fair dispersion conditions Wednesday and Thursday.
9/12/16 Observed*
9/13/16 Forecasted
9/14/16  Forecasted
Details for avoiding smoke during the worst hours of the day
Yosemite Valley
Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion in the morning today and avoid the area around Ahwahnee Meadow during prescribed fire ignitions Tuesday morning.
El Portal

Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion in the morning on Wednesday and Thursday.
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              http://www.wildlandfiresmoke.net/monitoring/                                            
California Smoke Blog                    http://www.californiasmokeinfo.blogspot.com/                                                              
Air Districts         http://www.arb.ca.gov/capcoa/roster.htm                                        

AirNow (AQI forecasts and nowcasts)                    https://www.airnow.gov/           

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