Moderate to Unhealthy Ozone Levels in California; Swan Lake Fire Persists While its Smoke Travels to the East Coast

The AirNow map shows there was Moderate (Yellow) and Unhealthy (Red) levels of ozone east of Fresno and Los Angeles, California on August 27th (Figure 1).  

Crestline and Kernville air quality stations both indicate 8-hour ozone values corresponding to the air quality index (AQI) ranges. According to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), the EPA begins warning at-risk groups at 55-70 ppb. Once ozone levels surpass 70 ppb, the AQI is reported to the public in that respective region by a range from “Good (Code Green)” all the way to “Hazardous (Code Purple).  

Above, the graph from AirNow-Tech displays a light blue curve (Crestline) and a yellow curve (Kernville)(Figure 2). At the Crestline station, 8-hour ozone values exceed 70 ppb starting at 7:00 UTC with a magnitude of 74 ppb (“Moderate”) and returning below the breakpoints at 19:00 UTC with a magnitude of 66 ppb (“Moderate”). The maximum ozone is at 105 ppb relating to the “Unhealthy” or “Code Red” range of AQI.

At the Kernville station, 8-hour ozone values exceed starting at 9:00 UTC and falling under 70 ppb at 18:00 UTC. The maximum ozone measurement is 103, which also corresponds to the “Unhealthy” or “Code Red” range of AQI.

Below, the table shows the exact values of ozone at each hour of the day at the air quality monitor stations(Figure 3).

NOAA’s HMS (Figure 4 and 5) shows heavy smoke in correspondence to the Swan Lake Fire in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Wilderness on August 27th. Five miles away from Sterling, Alaska, the incident spreads over 160,000 acres with only 28% of that perimeter contained. INCIWEB reports that the fire was started due to a lightning strike on June 5th, wildfires have endured to the month of August and do not intend to cease until temperatures drop and relative humidity rises. The estimated date of containment is said to be Sunday, September 15th, 2019.







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