Around the Bay tonight–my part of the Bay, anyway, San Francisco, Berkeley and environs–it looks like we’ve gotten a little break from the smoke. It was cloudy at dusk, and you could actually tell there were clouds in the sky instead of it being a big flat mass of gauze. Out in the Central Valley, and particularly north, in the Sacramento Valley, the smoke is a real issue. The air is so full of particulates–fine, fine ash ejected from the fires burning in every direction–that it’s rated “very unhealthful” to “hazardous” to breathe (for anyone, not just people who have higher health risks because of heart and lung conditions). Hospitals and medical equipment suppliers gave away as many as 2,400 respirator masks in Redding and Chico. The number of fires said to be burning in California tonight: abour 1,200. The National Weather Service says that the mountains in Northern California may have another spate of dry lightning storms over the weekend.
But California being California, we like to share. The image above (click for larger version) is from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fire Detection Program page. The red dots are hot spots detected by NOAA satellites. The gray areas are smoke plumes. Here’s a snippet of the text that goes with the image:
Several large wildfires and numerous smaller wildfires in northern
California continue to emit large amounts of moderately dense to dense
smoke which covers much of California, north of 35N, and extends to the
west over the Pacific Ocean.
Light smoke remnant from the California fires … can
be seen extending across much of the central United States. States over
which the light smoke can be seen include: central Nevada, northern
Utah, southern Wyoming, northern Colorado, southern Nebraska, most of
Kansas and western Missouri.