Sun. Dec 9th, 2018

Final Update – 11:55PM – Air Quality Major Concern Across the Country – Rain Not Coming Soon

  • Vancouver Island Inland Sections Forecast - No watches or warnings in effect.

    Forecast Issued 4:00 PM PST Sunday 09 December 2018 - Sunday night: Showers ending before morning then cloudy. Amount 5 to 10 mm. Low plus 3. Monday: Cloudy. Rain beginning late in the afternoon. Temperature steady near plus 4. Monday night: Rain. Amount 10 to 15 mm. Low plus 5. Tuesday: Rain. High plus 5. Tuesday night: Periods of rain. Low plus 2. Wednesday: Periods of rain. High plus 5. Wednesday night: Rain. Low plus 4. Thursday: Rain. High 9. Thursday night: Rain. Low plus 3. Friday: Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. High 7. Friday night: Periods of rain. Low plus 4. Saturday: Rain. High 8.

  • Current Conditions
    Temperature
    6.3° C
    -0.1 ° C/hr
    Barometer
    101.57 kPa
    0.0
    Wind
    N/A 0.0 km/h
    gusting 0.0 km/h
    Humidity
    100 %
    Rain Rate
    0.0 mm/hr
    Wind Chill
    6.3° C
    Heat Index
    6.3° C
    Dewpoint
    6.3° C
    UV
    0.0
    Solar
    0 W/m2
    Last Updated: 19:00:00 PDT
    Click to Refresh or See All Conditions
  • Day Almanac
    Day's Rain
    23.6 mm
    Day ET
    0.0 mm mm
    Rain Storm
    NotAvailable mm
    Civil Rise
    07:24
    Moon Phase
    New (8% full)
    Civil Set
    16:59
    Day Length
    12:11:40
    Day High
    7.3° C @ 14:47 Tdy.
    Day Low
    2.0° C @ 00:56 Tdy.
    Day High Rain Rate
    7.4mm/hr @ 04:02 Tdy.
    Day High Barometer
    102.19 kPa @ 00:00 Tdy.
    Day Low Barometer
    101.35 kPa @ 07:59 Tdy.
    Day Low Windchill
    0.1° C @ 04:27 Tdy.
    Day High Heat Index
    7.3° C @ 14:47 Tdy.
    Day High Wind Gust
    S 7.8km/h @ 11:20 Tdy.
    Day High Solar Radiation
    93W/m2 @ 12:50 Tdy.
    Day High UV Index
    0.6 @ 12:37 Tdy.
THE MARS IS GOING BACK IN THE AIR #bringbackthemars #PortAlberni long term contract. In water Tuesday morning. (Click above for link)

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FINAL Update 11:55PM

Air Quality continues to improve in town.

The ACRD is recommending residents on Sproat Lake to pack a 72 hour go-bag in case they need to evacuate at any time.  With the fire growing so quickly, and the change in the weather, the threat of it jumping the lake is real.  Do this.

And finally, the following is a report and pictures from a resident on the lake, Tom McEvay who just returned from the fire.  He posted this on Facebook.

It is after 11 pm July 6th and I just came back from a night tour of the fire. The fire has moved further along Dog Mtn down Taylor Arm where the pictures attached were taken. The heat from that part of the fire was very intense and embers were shooting high into the sky which is something of great concern. We could see glow from the other side of the mountain and took the boat into Two Rivers to find first that it had moved along the shore of the first bay and was heading for the islands were the gap is narrow and then when we traveled around to the right along the sandy shoreline where many people camp we found the fire was almost down to the lake on that side. This fire is massive now and needs way more resources from the Forest Fire Service. Hopefully the Mars can be ready sooner than the original announcement of Thursday and gets deployed here first. Pray for no wind as that could be the key to it being eventually contained or completely out of control. Many questions to be answered when this is all done.

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Stay safe out there folks.  I’ll be back tomorrow with a new post.

If you are wondering about what to put in your Evac Kit check these examples from SaltSpring Island.

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Update 9:25PM

The Air Quality has vastly improved on the 1 hour chart and is almost at normal levels.  However the 24 hour average will remain high for some time.

As previously reported, the Hawaii Mars water bomber will be in the water tomorrow at 10AM preparing for flight shake downs before going on active duty on Wednesday and Thursday assuming those shakedowns are successful.

And not a moment too soon.  I went out to the end of Lakeshore Drive and Bishop and Asher Road today.

First, here is a map of how the fire has grown.  Notice the point marked “pictured”.  The picture is below the map.  The picture was taken from the blue point on the map.

IMG_0153 FullSizeRender 8 FullSizeRender 9

It has moved an incredible amount in the past day.  The fire had only barely rounded the point near the lost cabin yesterday.

The helicopters, including the big Coulson helo, was bucketing but having very little real impact.

The homes on the side of the lake that I was standing on were getting a steady stream of ash and smoke.  There is a serious risk of the fire jumping over the water if it gets hot and windy.

The Air Quality at the lake was very poor in places.  It very much depends on the wind direction.  Folks out there should not rely on the Port Alberni readings.  If it feels and looks bad, it probably is.

On that note, we went out to the Airport to catch a glympse of the helicopters at the Coulson and Thunderbird bases.  On the way, we came across the Sproat Lake FD responding to a grass fire in the field along the Airport road.

FullSizeRender 10

 

It is very dangerous out there.  Please be careful with any machinery, ATVs, motorcycles, and obviously open flame of any sort including cigarettes.  It is a tinder box and our fire fighters are stretched to the limits.

There is no update from the BC Wildfire service yet.

Have a good night.  It has been a long day.  Here’s hoping it’s a better one tomorrow.

Update 4:50PM

Wind is picking up and it’s blowing pretty hard at the lake.  I think actually that the live stream may be facing south, so the south wind is probably blowing the smoke right at the camera.  Which is why the new image is pretty smokey.    Highest wind gust in town today is 35kph.

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Hopefully this is not pushing the fire too much.  But it is definitely improving our Air Quality which is now.

Update 3:40PM

According to the AVNews and AVTimes, Martin Mars in the Water tomorrow.  Will be available to be called for fires as soon as Wednesday afternoon if flight testing goes as planned.

“We have notified the province of our rates and we now have a contract in place and we are waiting for government to order the Mars up,” said Coulson.

“The earliest we told them is most likely a Thursday start depending how many days they take to decide.”

“The Mars will be watered tomorrow and the training of flight crews starts at 10 a.m. tomorrow and should be doing test flying on Wednesday afternoon.,” said Coulson in an email to the News.

The waterbomber is currently on standby. If the Mars is sent to fight fires it will do so under an existing helicopter contract with the provincial government, he said.

“I can’t tell you if they will call but we should be serviceable and able to fly by Thursday if she runs okay,” Coulson said.

Air Quality has improved probably thanks to the wind.  We are now below the 25ug/m3 threshold on the 1 hour chart.  It will take at least 24 hours at this level for the official 24hr chart to get back down under warning levels.  So you can expect the Air Quality Advisory to remain.

The ACRD has put up a great FAQ with tons of answers to common concerns. Read it here (PDF): Dog Mtn Q and A – Monday 300pm

 

Update 1:55PM

Air Quality has gotten a little worse this afternoon but the good news is the wind has picked up right on schedule so I am hopeful that the wind will help clear things up.

Jeremy Linning’s Live Stream is now here.

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Get that Martin Mars up there! 🙂

Latest update from BC Wildfire 12PM

Dog Mountain (V70274)

Last updated: Monday, July 06, 2015 at 11:55 AM

Location: Dog Mountain on Sproat Lake
• See approximate location of this wildfire on a Mapquest map.
• View an interactive map of all active Wildfires of Note.

Discovered: Saturday, July 04, 2015

Size: 96.0 hectares (estimated)

Status: Active
Fire is surrounded by steep terrain on all sides and is very active. This fire is burning aggressively on the top of a mountain and backed down the slope last night. An uninhabited cabin was lost.

InterfaceInterface Interface Fire
Sprinkler protection units are being deployed today for the cabins at lake level. Cabins with boat only access were evacuated with help from the RCMP. This area is still considered dangerous due to the rolling debris coming downhill from the fire. The public is cautioned that this is a very active and dangerous response area, and they should not approach the area by boat or foot.

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District has activated a Level one Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to support response efforts for this fire. For more information on the EOC, contact Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District: Russell Dyson at 250 720-2705 or 250 720-7051.

More information
This fire is on a peninsula of land almost completely surrounded by Sproat Lake. A narrow isthmus provides land access to some of the cabins on the peninsula.

Cause: Human Human Caused
This fire is suspected to be human caused.

Resources
• 21 firefighters
• 3 helicopters
Air Tankers dropped retardant on the fire on Saturday, which has the ability to retard the movement of the fire when either wet or dry. Helicopters, including a heavy helicopter, are also bucketing on the fire to cool hot spots and reduce fire behaviour.

Update 12:45PM

AVNews is reporting the Mars bomber has been awarded a long term contract.  Incredible! Yes!

Update 11:45AM

BC Wildfire now says the fire is 96 hectares.  Was 35 last update.

Also, Good News!

Have heard that Tseshaht First Nation has been told that a lot more resources are arriving today to fight the Dog Mountain fire.

Update 11:20AM

BC Wildfire now says 96 hectares.

I am hearing rumours of a Water Bomber Protest at noon at the Blue Marlin? (Arli?)

Air Quality has leveled off.  Advisory remains in effect.

The fire isn’t getting better… notice the lick of flame just to the left of centre behind another building.  The big ball of fire on the right is the remains of the uninhabited cabin, staircase and funicular.  The fire is not contained and still “very active” and “aggressive”.

11703075_10152954372056723_1030297356373687502_n-2

 

The model does show some light southerly winds by mid-to-late afternoon which might help more with the smoke but may also fan the flames.

 

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 11.14.31 AM

 

There is a new Periscope live feed from Jeremy Linning

Here is a 3 shot time-lapse.

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Update 9:55AM

Air Quality continues to improve but Advisory will remain for the day.  The short term 1-hour numbers are just at warning level now of 25ug/m3 and look to be levelling off.  Even if it stays there for 24 hours that means the 24 hour average will still be at warning levels.

Jeremy Linning’s life feed is now over. 🙁

The BC Wildfire page has now been updated.  Here it is in full

Dog Mountain (V70274)

Last updated: Monday, July 06, 2015 at 9:36 AM

Location: Dog Mountain on Sproat Lake
• See approximate location of this wildfire on a Mapquest map.
• View an interactive map of all active Wildfires of Note.

Discovered: Saturday, July 04, 2015

Size: 35.0 hectares (estimated)

Status: Active
Fire is surrounded by steep terrain on all sides and is very active. This fire is burning aggressively on the top of a mountain and backed down the slope last night. An uninhabited cabin was lost.

InterfaceInterface Interface Fire
Cabins at the lake level with boat only access were evacuated with help from the RCMP. This area is still considered dangerous due to the rolling debris coming downhill from the fire. The public is cautioned that this is a very active and dangerous response area, and they should not approach the area by boat or foot.

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District has activated a Level one Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to support response efforts for this fire. For more information on the EOC, contact Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District: Russell Dyson at 250 720-2705 or 250 720-7051.

More information
This fire is on a peninsula of land almost completely surrounded by Sproat Lake. A narrow isthmus provides land access to some of the cabins on the peninsula.

Cause: Human Human Caused
This fire is suspected to be human caused.

Resources
• 21 firefighters
• 3 helicopters
Air Tankers dropped retardant on the fire on Saturday, which has the ability to retard the movement of the fire when either wet or dry. Helicopters, including a heavy helicopter, are also bucketing on the fire to cool hot spots and reduce fire behaviour.

Update 8:45AM

Air Quality continues to improve. Unfortunately, a Cabin (uninhabited) has been consumed by the fire.

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I’ve created a GIF of images from Jeremy Linning’s Periscope feed.  It shows the growth of the fire this morning.

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You can watch the smoke roll in in yesterdays time-lapse.  Apologies for the one camera that has been acting up lately.

Environment Canada just updated their statement on the smoke.  Forecast high remains 35º C.

Issued at 2015-07-06 14:40 UTC by Environment Canada:
Special weather statement continued for:
East Vancouver Island, B.C. (081300)
West Vancouver Island, B.C. (081400)
Inland Vancouver Island, B.C. (081500)

Current details:
Forest fire smoke will continue to affect the BC South Coast.

Forest fire smoke continues to affect much of the inner South Coast. While low level wind patterns are changing, ushering in cooler marine air through Juan de Fuca strait, winds aloft are expected to remain fairly light. Slightly cooler temperatures and modest improvements in visibilities and air quality are expected. Smoke aloft may linger for some time.

Update  7:35AM

Air Quality Advisory in Effect. Click here for recommendations (PDF). Graphs updated with 7AM values.  Air Quality improving.  If you are thinking about getting out of town for a while to find clearer air.  The West Coast and North island are probably your best bets.

“Avoid strenuous outdoor activities. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact your health care provider: difficulty in breathing, chest pain or discomfort, and sudden onset of cough or irritation of airways. Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, and lung or heart disease. “

Initial Post 7:20AM

The big concern is Air Quality.  I will keep the air quality graphs above the updates today and update them periodically until the values go below criteria levels (25).  Note my images may not update as often as the bc airquality site itself but at least they are more accessible than the BC AirQuality website. I will do my best.

Even though it doesn’t seem as dramatic as yesterday, the big concern today more than yesterday is Air Quality.  An Advisory remains in effect.

The official ‘objective’ is an average 2.5 micro-metre Particulate Matter (PM2.5) over 24 hours of 25ug/m3.  Our latest reading at 6AM brought us to double that standard.

Our raw reading got as high as 130ug/m3 at 3AM.  It is currently, as of the 6AM update, 62ug/m3.

You can see this readings on the BC Airquality website.  On a mobile device or without flash you need to go to the Data Archive and the data is delayed.  On a computer with flash, go to the Nanaimo area and click the Port Alberni Elementary button on the map then click on the readings to see the graphs.  It’s not very easy.

Smoke unlikely to clear completely today.  But we are not alone.

The images below are from the fire smoke models at firesmoke.ca.

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 7.12.28 AM Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 7.12.48 AM

The red is PM2.5 levels of over 175.  That’s terrible.  These images are the forecasted levels today around 6PM.   These models update only once a day.

So this is all good and bad news.

The good news is with all the smoke, we will not be able to reach our forecast high of 35ºC.  That means reduced fire activity and a little more comfort for everyone.

The bad news is with all the smoke, we have continued air quality issues.  It’s a double edged sword but I think at this point, I’ll take the reduced fire activity and heat over the poor air quality.

That said, if you do have respiratory problems, it is recommended that you stay indoors somewhere there is A/C or filtration as this poor air will affect those with asthma, or other respiratory illnesses especially.

There is some wind on the West Coast this morning and we have had a light breeze this morning in town but not nearly enough to make a difference as was hoped.

Fire remains.  Linning Livestream

Jeremy Linning still has a Periscope live stream of the fire here.

Since the Fire information has not been updated since 3PM yesterday, this stream is our best up-to-date look at the state of the fire.  It seems to have grown a bit toward the right since yesterday.

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 6.47.54 AM

Weather forecast remains uncertain, except no Rain.

Because the smoke is blocking the full force of the sun, we can really throw the temperature forecasts out the window.  It was 10ºC cooler yesterday than forecast because of the smoke.

What we really need to know is when the wind might come and take this smoke away.  It was supposed to start this morning, and it did a bit, but not much.

There is a good breeze on the coast this morning and that is supposed to pickup a bit as you can see on the image below.

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But there isn’t much in the interior of the Island.  Lets hope there is anyway.

Don’t expect rain anytime soon.

What we know for sure, is there is not going to be any rain anytime soon.  There is no rain in the UWash model forecast through the 13th.

There is also only a consensus of 10mm of rain forecast between now and the 21st of July on the super-long range models.  With most of that falling at the back end and most uncertain end of the prediction.

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 6.54.33 AMThe bias is on the low side as well (you can tell from the darker shading below the line than above.

I wish I had better news but without a serious change in our weather pattern, we really are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Have a good Monday.

 

4 thoughts on “Final Update – 11:55PM – Air Quality Major Concern Across the Country – Rain Not Coming Soon

  1. It seems like the jet stream is acting oddly for a while now. When it splits north and south it seems we are in a bubble with it coming down behind us. You an see the air slowly being squeezed out to the sw. Are we trapped in a gyre of stagnant air similar to the gyre in the ocean where garbage piles up? Obviously it’s busy days and you are really there for us in port. Thanks for keeping us updated. I nominate you as weatherperson of the year!:)

    1. The odd behaviour of the jet stream over the last few years has been linked directly to warming trends in the Far North. Less difference in temperature between mid-high latitudes. Jennifer Francis PhD

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