Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Deer Creek Fire: Smoke and Ozone

A fire up Provo Canyon near Deer Creek Reservoir has burned over 600 acres and, as of this morning, is only 5% contained. Fires up canyons are dangerous to firefighters because canyon winds can change direction and spread the fire rapidly. Read the KSL story here.

Yesterday I drove up the canyon to measure ozone concentrations. Ozone at the bottom of the canyon was low, in the 40s ppb. Near the fire the ozone concentration was elevated with a max concentration of 64 ppb. Wildfires is one source of ground level ozone (review article here).

Smoke plume seen from MODIS Terra satellite
Smoke plume seen from MODIS Aqua satellite later that day.

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