So far, the Rim fire at Yosemite National Park’s western doorstep hasn’t smoked out the San Joaquin Valley. Pray the wind doesn’t shift.
If you’ve seen the photographs of the immense pyrocumulus clouds erupting over the Sierra, you know it’s a pretty intense wildfire.
I’ve talked with fire experts who say you can see the clouds for 100 miles in all directions.
Pyrocumulus clouds occur with the high heat of volcanoes and wildfires. They look like cauliflower, rising tens of thousands of feet high with ash and vapor.
This is the biggest fire on the Stanislaus National Forest in a generation, now approaching 180,000 acres. On Tuesday, it ranked as the seventh largest in recorded state history.
The ash has been riding the wind into places north of the fire, such as Reno and Sacramento. In Sacramento, the PM-2.5 — think soot — standard has been breached nine times this month. That’s more than Sacramento has seen in August for the last decade combined.
Meanwhile in the Valley, which sometimes is socked in with wildfire soot, there haven’t been any PM-2.5 breaches in the standard. Keep an eye on the weather and the wind. This fire may hang around through September, I’m told.