Today, AirNow reported moderate PM2.5 concentrations in portions of Mid-Atlantic region, Pacific Northwest and California where in addition to the Moderate levels, unhealthy levels were experience as well (top left). Unhealthy levels for sensitive groups were reached also in Utah. HMS has indicated that an area of blowing dust/sand is originating from the southwestern portion of Gerlach Hot Springs Park in Nevada. The blowing dust/sand is moving to the northwest. The dust has also been detected in South Oregon and South and Central California. IDEA GASP animated for aerosol optical depth AOD shows high aerosol levels in California and Nevada most probably due to dust (top right).
SPECIAL FEATURE: Colby fire in southern California
A wildfire started and spread quickly in the foothills of northeast Los Angeles on January 16, 2014. The plume of ash and smoke blanketed much of the metropolitan area and prompted air quality warnings.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite captured this strikingly clear, true-color image of the Colby fire just before noon on Saturday January 16.
According to InciWeb, the fire started around 6 a.m. Pacific Time in the Angeles National Forest near Glendora, California. As of 3 p.m. local time, nearly 500 firefighters were working the fire, which had destroyed 1,700 acres and at least two homes at that time. Fire officials were concerned about gusty winds and extremely low humidity that could promote fire growth.
On January 21 the fire had ravaged 1,952 acres and 299 personnel were working the scene. At least two roads, Glendora Mountain Road and Ridge Road were closed. A total of 7 residences were damaged and 5 destroyed. Ten out buildings were also destroyed. Fortunately, by this date the fire was 98% contained, according to InciWeb, with full containment anticipated by January 22.