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Air Quality

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Air Quality

Postby maverick » Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:12 pm

I have been seeing an Air Quality Alert on the NWS for the last couple of days starting
south of Mammoth down to SEKI.
If your were out this past weekend I would like to hear you experience with the
smoke, and did it affect your visibility in any way. Thanks



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Re: Air Quality

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:41 pm

Yosemite was really really hazy yesterday until late afternoon when it got a little better. The Slope fire is still going, and I think there is one other as well. I wasn't having any breathing issues, but it was a bit of a bummer.
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Re: Air Quality

Postby maverick » Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:50 pm

Hi AlmostThere

Thanks for chiming in.
How was it at sunset, sometimes smoke in the air can create quite dramatic
colors at sunset?
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Re: Air Quality

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:32 pm

We didn't really stick around that late. Looked mostly clear when we left. It was actually really cloudy earlier in the day, in addition to the haze.
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Re: Air Quality

Postby Greengrassmonk » Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:43 pm

From Sunday. It was clear in the morning with clouds in the afternoon.
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Re: Air Quality

Postby lostcoyote » Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:35 pm

i have been on 2 trips:

1. upper kern basin to and from onion valley from ~august 1'st to august 14'th
2. tehipite valley to ionian basin to and from south lake - sept 2'cd to sept 19'th.

the fore has been brewing for 7 weeks now and the air quality from bubbs creek to evolution valley really sucks at times. it is thickest down in bubbs creek.
during the evening hours, the air retrogrades downhill and so when the air current shift in the early morning, the middle fork gets filled up with smoke which then trickles up all of the other valleys from goddard creek to dusy basin... and it then overflows over the passes and gets as far north as evolution valley. i saw it.

while in tehipte valley the first day i entered, the smoke was so thick, i could barely see the opposing walls such as the gorge of despair. next morning, it was as clear as a bell... on;y to get filled up again by the aftrenoon. some days were better than others while some days were worse.

i was cursing the NPS for letting it brew for so long...
(but that is me being selfish)

i suppose if the winds got going REALLY strong and the fire started to go out of control, then the NPS would act on it.... and then, one could say... it would have been a helluva lot easiernto put it out on august 1'st.

other than the pollution from the fire... i have noted that over the past 15 years, the increasing amount of brown muck you see when looking west back into the central valley. problem - human population and the resulting growth of pollution sources.
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Re: Air Quality

Postby BrianF » Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:27 pm

Was in Humpreys Basin last weekend 9/16-9/18- Thursday was a tiny bit hazy, Friday was pretty hazy/smokey in the morning and less so in the afternoon after the winds kicked in. Saturday was clear.Here is a pic from Friday
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Re: Air Quality

Postby quentinc » Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:37 pm

I went in over Shepard's Pass and wandered around Wales Lake, Mt. Barnard & Russell, and the Upper Kern Basin from 9/12 - 9/19. It was incredibly variable! The day I was on top of Barnard was perhaps the clearest day I've ever experienced in the Sierra. Two days later, on top of Russell, the east side of the crest was awful. Most days were clear in the morning. One afternoon, in the Upper Kern, was like being inside an incinerator.
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Re: Air Quality

Postby giantbrookie » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:20 pm

I led a geology field trip to Kings Canyon (to near Road's End) Saturday 9/18, and there was a fire burning down to the river upstream of Boyden Cave (lots of fire fighting folk watching it carefully). The fabled Junction View was not much of a view. One could barely see Spanish Mtn through the smoke. The smoke was thick enough from Junction View to Road's End to be unpleasant to breathe. It gave me a sore throat.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: Air Quality

Postby Herm » Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:23 am

BrianF;
I hiked out of Humphreys Basin on Monday 9/13, and I thought it seemed pretty bad, but looking at your picture, it must have gotten a lot worse. That morning in Humphreys Basin, the smell of smoke was very evident, but not so visible. When I got to Piute Pass, smoke and haze could be seen in the Owens Valley, and by the time I was at the trailhead parking area, I could no longer see the Owens Valley because the haze was so thick. And the Sabrina Basin that afternoon looked ugly, like a smoggy day in southern California back in the 70's.
I coughed for a few days after returning, feeling like I had spent time in a smoky bar.
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Re: Air Quality

Postby richlong8 » Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:12 pm

On Sept. 4-8 , we smelled smoke most days in the afternoons, from the Red Mt. Basin area. How long is this smoke supposed to go on, anyone know?

I found this link on the SEKI site for the Sheep fire, which suggests it is only 20% contained, and 10/31 is the estimated containment date.


I assume this is the fire that is causing the smoky conditions in the Sierra. I will probably postpone my trip next week to Tephite because of the smoke.
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Re: Air Quality

Postby quentinc » Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:57 pm

The ranger at the permit station told me it was from the Sheep fire. I feel sorry for people who live in Lone Pine/ Bishop area.

A friend who was at Thousand Island Lake last weekend said that the smoke was not an issue there, but it all seems to depend on the exact direction of the wind.
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