Rim Fire Air Quality Update--September 7, 2013
Incident: Rim Fire Wildfire
Yesterday September 6 2013
The Rim Fire burned approximately 1 200 acres mostly within the containment lines. It is currently 252 156 acres. A strong inversion brought smoke down the Clavey and Tuolumne River drainages into the Lake Don Pedro basin and the central valley. It was noon in most areas before smoke trapped by the inversion had cleared. Transport winds were southwesterly so the main smoke plume continued to travel northeast toward the communities of Pinecrest Bear Valley Markleeville and the Lake Tahoe Basin. Northwest winds east of the Sierra crest kept all but light smoke out of Minden and Carson City into the evening. The Yosemite and San Joaquin Valleys were not impacted by smoke from the Rim Fire.
Saturday September 7 2013
The fire burned actively in the thermal belt through the night. The heaviest morning smoke impacts were in communities to the northeast and in the immediate fire area such as Pinecrest Bear Valley Markleeville and Minden. Morning smoke was heavier than yesterday in Tuolumne City Sonora and Columbia. This morning’s inversion should break around noon. All areas should see their best air quality in the afternoon. Daytime transport winds will be southwesterly to west-southwesterly likely bringing smoke into the Tuolumne Meadows area and closer to the Yosemite Valley. El Portal and the San Joaquin Valley should not be impacted. Nighttime impacts similar to yesterday are likely for Minden and possibly further south in Bridgeport continuing into Sunday morning.
Sunday September 8 2013
Transport winds begin to weaken some and become more westerly and possibly even northwesterly for a time late in the day. The morning inversion is still forecast to be quite strong and likely to persist until around noon. Morning smoke impacts in communities within the immediate fire area and south and west of the fire in Mariposa La Grange Greeley Hill Columbia and Sonora are likely. Pinecrest Bear Valley and Markleeville will still see the heaviest morning impacts. All areas should clear for a few hours in the afternoon. By late afternoon and into evening the Yosemite Valley and San Joaquin Valley will likely see significant smoke impacts that will persist into the following morning.
Long term Outlook
Monday morning smoke impacts are predicted to extend as far south as Fresno and north to Sacramento. Daytime transport winds are forecast to become light. Surface winds in the Sierras should become westerly and clear some of the smoke from drainages and valleys by late afternoon but widespread smoke is predicted to linger over much of the region.