UPDATE 6:00 p.m. The smoke has dissipated somewhat over Mendocino County, though an air advisory remains in effect, and as one whose been outside can see, there some ash has rained down on us. But the situation in Butte County, where all this smoke is coming from, is much more Dire. The Camp Incident has exploded to 18,000 acres in a matter of hours, forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands of people, and already destroying hundreds of structures.
(Scroll down for full coverage)
UPDATE 1:30 p.m. -- The Mendocino County Air Quality Management District has issued an air quality advisory due to the immense cloud of smoke that has drifted here from Butte County. (Scroll down for further details on the smoke.)
Currently in the inland portion of Mendocino County particulate counts indicate levels "unhealthy for sensitive groups" and approaching a generally "unhealthy" level. Sensitive groups, including young children, the elderly, people with respitory problems and asthma are urged to stay indoors and avoid prolonged activity. Once the levels are considered officially "unhealthy" this advisory goes for everyone.The smoke is expected to remain for at least a day, depending on wind conditions and fire conditions. The fire in Butte Co., the Camp Incident, has exploded in size in the past few hours to at least 8,000 acres.(You can find the full press release from the Air Board at the bottom of the article.)
UPDATE 12:30 p.m. -- The smoke continues to thicken over Mendocino County, but we want to repeat that this is smoke from a distant wildfire, the Camp Fire near Paradise in Butte County. The smoke has drifted about 100 miles. (Scroll down for earlier reporting and details)
Still, the situation is dramatic, and poses an air quality hazard. The smoke is thick enough that cars are using their headlights at noon, and the temperature has drop dramatically in the past two hours, in downtown Ukiah.
Unfortunately, a new wildfire has sprung up in Mendocino County, as well, burning off of Hwy. 162 in the Dos Rios area. The smoke from that fire is not responsible for this tremendous cloud.
UPDATE 11:52 p.m.
The scene in Ukiah and across much of Mendocino County is eerie as a huge cloud of smoke from the Camp Fire in Butte County has drifted to our area, casting a red and yellow light and dimming the sun. The smoke is low enough that it has obscured the peaks of the hills to the east of Ukiah.
However, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office has confirmed, via a Nixle alert, that the smoke is from a fire about 100 miles distant in Butte County. Here is the text of that Nixle:
The smoke visible in Mendocino County is confirmed as drift smoke from the Camp Fire in Butte County. According to CALFIRE Mendocino Unit, there are currently NO active fires in Mendocino County. Mendocino County residents and visitors can check the air quality for Mendocino County at the Mendocino County Air Quality Management District's website at http://www.co.mendocino.ca.us/aqmd/.MCSO Nixle alertThe Lake County Sheriff's Department also put out a Nixle:
Please only call 911 for emergencies only.
The smoke visible in Mendocino County is confirmed as drift smoke from the Camp Fire in Butte County. According to CALFIRE Mendocino Unit, there are currently NO active fires in Mendocino County. Mendocino County residents and visitors can check the air quality for Mendocino County at the Mendocino County Air Quality Management District's website at http://www.co.mendocino.ca.us/aqmd/.LCSD Nixle alertUKIAH, 11/8/18 -- A cloud of smoke has drifted over the Cow Mountain area, and into parts of the Ukiah Valley and neighboring areas -- however, Cal Fire has confirmed that the smoke has drifted over from the Camp Fire in Butte County and that there is currently no wildfire in the area.
Please only call 911 for emergencies only.
Again, this smoke is drift smoke from a fire.
The Camp Fire, which is burning near Paradise CA, has exploded up to 5,000 acres, and is about 100 miles from Ukiah. The fact that this much smoke has drifted 100 miles speaks to the size of the fire.
We will continue to monitor the situation and update as more information comes in.
Here is a Tweet from Cal Fire explaining the situation:
AIR QUALITY ADVISORY
For Mendocino County
Thursday November 8, 2018, 12:30 PM
The smoke and haze currently degrading the air quality and reducing visibility in inland areas of Mendocino County are primarily the result of the Camp Fire in Butte County. Currently air monitors show particulate matter concentrations in the “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups’' range and approaching “Unhealthy” in inland Mendocino County. Other areas of Mendocino County are forecast to have periods of “Moderate” conditions depending on the wind. These conditions are expected to impact the County through tomorrow and intermittently until the fires are out. Some relief is currently predicted Saturday.
Smoke in heavy concentrations can cause eye and throat irritation, coughing, and difficulty breathing. People who are at greatest risk of experiencing symptoms due to smoke include: those with respiratory disease (such as asthma), those with heart disease, young children, and older adults. These sensitive populations should stay indoors and avoid prolonged activity. Even healthy adults can be affected by smoke. When air conditions are 'Unhealthy,' everyone should limit prolonged or heavy exertion activities outdoors.
Persons experiencing any of the following symptoms should contact a health care provider: headache; repeated coughing; chest tightness or pain; difficulty in breathing; or nausea.
New fire activity, wind directions and wind speeds can change at any time. It is advised to be prepared and stay informed. Impacts to the air quality will be most noticeable in the evening to early morning hours.
Mendocino County Air Quality Management District has particulate monitors running continuously measuring our air quality. These monitors report particulate matter concentrations hourly to the air District’s website. To get the latest air quality information for Mendocino County visit: www.mendoair.org or airnow.gov.
On our webpage at the sidebar on the right, or scroll down if using a mobile device, the section titled “Air Quality for Mendocino”--Click Here for current conditions, forecast, and email alerts. The air quality index ranges from ‘Good’ (green) to ‘Hazardous’ (maroon). See example from website below: