Update 8:45PM – Fire Day 6 – Air Quality still concern here – Wind a Concern Friday/Saturday but will be cooler

Final Update 10:10PM

Nothing more to report today.  Have a good night!  Definite change in the weather tomorrow.

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 8.39.47 PMScreen Shot 2015-07-09 at 8.40.06 PMUpdate 8:45PM

Did you just get a big whiff of kerosene?  If you did, it is probably from the lighting of the controlled burn on the northwest side of Dog Mountain.



Ironically, air quality has improved steadily over the past few hours but it may dip again as the smoke from this fire drifts into the City.  We’ll see where the wind takes it.  It should be the lsat gasp though.  From then on, our air quality should get better especially through the weekend.

No update yet from BC Wildfire CFC.  My final update tonight will be when and if they update the post.  Either way, I’ll post before 10.

Update 7:00PM

Air Quality has improved again.

So this happened a couple hours ago.  I was in a meeting…. lol.

No drop on the fire tonight but that is still in the cards apparently for training purposes.  Here’s hoping tomorrow we get to see and hear her a bunch more, that the training goes well, and she can fight her first fire in 2 years very soon.

Update 4:00PM

Air Quality continues to worsen.

The Minister of Forest was on the Peak this afternoon stating that weather-permitting, the Mars will be up in the air this evening and has the go-ahead to drop on the Dog Mountain Fire.

Here are the changes from the latest Fire update from 12:30PM

  • Size: 400.0 hectares (estimated)
  • A second staged ignition is scheduled today July 9, 2015. The burn will only go ahead if there are favourable conditions. The plan is to have a staged burn on the neck of the isthmus. If, or when, a burn is conducted there will be resources assigned specifically to look for and report any spot fires.
  • Crews will light an additional smaller patch today, July 9, 2015, close to the penninsula. This should create better air quality in this region.


The Dog Mountain fire is now the main source of smoke in the region.  The smoke from the Pemberton fires seems to have pulled back to the East.  Dog Mountain is sending smoke to the Comox Valley especially and it looks like it might be then dragged down the Strait.  Click for full resolution.



Update 3:00PM

Quick Air Quality update.  Gotten worse over the afternoon.

Update 12:40PM

Air Quality continues to look worse than it is in terms of fine particulate.  12ug/m3 isn’t great on a normal day, but it is way better than it has been.  This will be very localized as well as the Pemberton smoke seems to have mostly dissipated and we are at the whim of the direction of the wind.  The CFC said that the controlled burn would produce smoke for 2-3 days.  So this could be because of that.

Stay safe out there.  The Mars is supposed to be in the air today and potentially dropping training drops.  It will all be dependent on visibility though.  So don’t be too disappointed if we still have to wait.  This time tomorrow I anticipate the smoke will be much less though the winds will likely be stronger.

I will not have another update until at least 6PM today.  

Take care.

Initial Update 9:45AM

Air Quality

Air Quality is OK this morning.  There seems to be less high level Pemberton fire smoke in the air in the past couple of days.  It was most noticeably gone yesterday afternoon and evening when it all of a sudden felt quite hot.

Check it out on the graph to see the direct impact the smoke has had on our afternoon temperatures.

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 9.29.10 AM

By yesterday evening the high level smoke had exited, and all that was left was the plume from Sproat Lake.


As a bit of confirmation, the Ministry of Environment has just updated their Air Quality Advisories for the Island.  Removing those in the South Island and Campbell River but retaining it between Comox and Cowichan and for Port Alberni.

The Ministry of Environment in collaboration with Island Health is ending the Wildfire Smoke Advisory for the south coast of Vancouver Island and for Campbell River as air quality conditions have improved.  However, the Wildfire Smoke Advisory continues for the East coast of Vancouver Island from Comox to Cowichan valley, including the interior community of Port Alberni, as forest fire smoke is still affecting these areas.

Fire Activity

The Fire page was last updated at 8:50AM here is what has changed:

  • Size not changed.. is still 245 hectares
  • Burn off operations to remove fuels are partially complete.
  • Stirling Maine (Stirling Arm Road) is closed from km mark 4 to 12 as it is a staging area.
  • The staged ignition was completed today. A heli-drip torch was used to ignite the burn area, and the fire met its objective to produce a moderate intensity ground fire.
  • This fire has now been mapped. Burn off of fuels on July 8 yeilded satisfactory results. Understory and fuels to shore were removed. Crews will light an additional smaller patch today, July 9, 2015, close to the penninsula. This should create better air quality in this region.

We can expect the fire to continue to produce significant smoke for at least the next 2-3 days as the controlled burns happen.

Weather Forecast cool but not necessarily wet and possibly windy.

We are very close to a change in the weather pattern.  Today (Thursday) however, will be hot.  How hot will completely depend on where the smoke is and is not.  We won’t reach our forecast high from EC of 36º C (and thank goodness for that).  UW is much more conservative with a high of only 29ºC but if the smoke clears, we could get above 30º C.


The interesting thing will be what happens Friday.

Here is the high for the day Friday, it is barely over 20º C. (22º C)


Notice in the picture above there is a line between green and orange.  Also notice the wind barbs are standing at attention to the southwest.

The thing of greatest concern to me is the wind.

Wind Picks up Friday Afternoon and Saturday Day

Below are the 3hr forecasts for the wind gusts. First, notice that our region is fairly calm before 11AM Friday.

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 9.55.32 AM

Between 11AM and 2PM things clearly pick up as a front comes through.  This could be a dangerous time for the fire.  The wind should be from the South or SouthWest.

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 9.55.51 AM


The gusty conditions continue through 5PM on Friday.  The good news is this should make the smoke very localized and remove all other smoke from the airshed.   It will also bring much cooler air.  The bad news is if the fire is active at all, this will be a prime time for burning embers to take flight and spread the fire to other locations.  People will need to be vigilant.

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 9.56.02 AM

The gustiness continues through the 5-8PM hour.

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 9.56.12 AM



After 8PM the winds die off.  And this should be it for the day.

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 9.56.31 AM


On Saturday, the wind picks up again in the afternoon but it does not seem quite as widespread or strong as Friday.




Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 9.57.26 AM

Rain may be coming Saturday.

This is a good thing, but it isn’t much. Only 4mm between 11AM and 2PM.



Unfortunately, that is our best chance at real rainfall.  There is a very weak bit coming through Monday, but at this point it will not amount to anything at all.


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2 thoughts on “Update 8:45PM – Fire Day 6 – Air Quality still concern here – Wind a Concern Friday/Saturday but will be cooler

  1. Apparently there is a fire in the Coombs area now. DriveBC reports hwy 4 closed both directions at junction with 4A due to forest fire.

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