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Current fire and smoke status links

California wildfire season is in full force again. Below is an update to last year’s links that I provided. 

Brief Overview

Caldor and Dixie Fires are still quite active on 9/12 and the rest of the state is much calmer than end of August.   Caldor is slowly improving, but Dixie still looks bad.  Soon approaching a million acres at 75% containment.  That’s not great for a fire of that magnitude.

Reporting is thankfully becoming more factual now, rather than hyping the scariest photos because evacuees expressed their displeasure with this reporting style.  CalFire has been providing some excellent photography and stories which is change long overdue. (“The Lookout” is the most professional reporting of the #CaldorFire.)

CalFire Chief Thom Porter says that, for the second time in California history, a wildfire has crossed the Sierra Nevada. The first was the Dixie Fire last month, and the latest was the Caldor Fire now. “Every canyon will burn in this state. Be ready now,” he urges.

“All bets are off,” said Ken Pimlott, a professional forester and former director of Cal Fire, the state’s firefighting agency. “High-elevation fires change the dynamic. You can’t count on the Sierra crest as a natural barrier anymore” (Barrier due to snow at high elevations)

Links for CaldorFire

If you want more news coverage on the evolution of this fire or Dixie, KCRA’s journalism is excellent, experienced and LOCAL. (LINK)

My Favorite Resource Links

  • Fire status
    1. LINK 1NEW! This is the most accurate map I’ve found to date.   I prefer this over the second link.
    2. LINK 2 (Zoom in tight to see latest fire activity. By zooming in tight you will see where the fire is hottest within a fire perimeter.  I don’t find their air quality numbers accurate, but they are interesting.  The wind direction is a new feature which I find very interesting.  This service covers locations of nearly all fires regardless of agency assigned to manage it.)
  • Smoke and fire:

    • LINK 1 – Viewing the smoke patterns during daylight hours to see what is happening statewide is EXTREMELY HELPFUL. (Earth satellite views)
    • LINK 2NEW!  Smoke forecast for 48 hours.
  • CalFire (Reports daily approx. 7am & 7pm) US Forest Service (These fires do not seem to be managed as aggressively.)
  • National air quality  (AQICN – Gives excellent historical data) (PurpleAir – This site presents overages over a given time frame which can be very helpful.)  
  • Wind flow (Current and forecasted.  Very helpful to identify strong on shore and offshore flows.  When it goes offshore our air quality declines dramatically.)
  • Weather Forecast (Wunderground.  Put in your location and look at the 10 day forecast.  If you see wide swings in temperature that can be bad for fires, especially if lightening is involved.)
  • Evacuated? Need a hotel? Try this link.

If you have any kind of chronic inflammation it is imperative to avoid smoke exposure as much as possible.  Smoke has ultra-fine particulate that by-passes HEPA filters and goes straight through your lungs into your bloodstream.

Ash from cars and homes contains HEAVY METALS which once in the air, travel long distances and can get trapped in your fatty tissues and cause long term health problems.

— If houses are burning, GET OUT OF THE AREA for as long as possible, please.

This is a photo from the #NorthComplexFire 2020 near Oroville Damn.