Smoke creates record high pollution levels in California cities

The Camp Fire continues to affect air quality

smoke pollution particulates record California cities
Records show a large increase in particulates in some California cities after the Camp and Woolsey Fires started on November 8, 2018. Via @RARohde. Click to enlarge.

Areas in Northern California have been suffering through unprecedented air pollution since the Camp Fire started November 8 east of Chico. Sacramento, San Francisco, and Stockton have all recorded record high levels.

The animation below shows the predicted wind direction for Northern California at 9 a.m. PST November 19, 2018. If accurate, the wind could bring smoke from the Camp Fire, which is just east of Chico, down into the Sacramento Valley, the Bay Area, and the Central Valley on Monday. This condition should reverse Tuesday through Friday with the smoke being pushed to the north away from San Francisco, but Saturday could again bring wind and smoke from the north if the Camp Fire is still active.

On Sunday and Sunday night the Camp Fire was active on the east side and will likely produce a significant amount of smoke Monday. But Wednesday through Friday should bring copious amounts of rain to the fire area, perhaps more than two inches, which will definitely inhibit the production of smoke and slow the spread of the fire — at least.

The fatality count on the Camp Fire rose again Sunday as search teams found another set of human remains to bring the total loss of life to 77, with 993 unaccounted for. The current tally for the number of homes destroyed is 11,990, and acres burned, 151,000. The number of commercial structures burned rose from 367 to 472.

wildfire smoke forecast map
The forecast for the distribution of wildfire smoke at 2 p.m. PST November 19, 2018. NOAA.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

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