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Health alerts are issued by DEQ when air pollutant levels are measured or estimated to be unhealthy for sensitive groups.

List administrator(s): Dan Salkovitz, Mike Kiss, Kristen Stumpf, Bobby Lute

Smoke discussion, Thursday afternoon, August 18th

SMOKE FROM THE GREAT DISMAL SWAMP WILDFIRE WILL IMPACT PORTIONS OF VIRGINIA THURSDAY NIGHT AND FRIDAY. PLEASE NOTE THERE IS UNCERTAINTY WITH REGARDS TO THE DENSITY OF THE SMOKE FARTHER AWAY FROM THE FIRE LOCATION (THE DISMAL SWAMP). THEREFORE, THE AIR QUALITY FORECAST IS BASED ON WHERE THE WINDS INDICATE THE PLUME MAY IMPACT, REGARDLESS OF SMOKE DENSITY.

PLUME MODELS SEEM TO INDICATE SIGNIFICANT SMOKE AFFECTS MAY OCCUR OVER AN AREA EXTENDING FROM THE FIRE NORTHEASTWARD THROUGH HAMPTON ROADS AND NORFOLK INTO THE NORTHERN NECK AND OVER THE EASTERN SHORE. ANY PRECIPITATION THAT MAY OCCUR TOMORROW WILL HELP TO MITIGATE SMOKE IMPACTS.

FOR TONIGHT THROUGH TOMORROW: CODE PURPLE CONDITIONS ARE LIKELY IN THE CITY OF SUFFOLK. OCCASIONAL CODE RED CONDITIONS ARE LIKELY IN THE COUNTIES/CITIES OF SOUTHAMPTON, ISLE OF WIGHT, SUFFOLK, NEWPORT NEWS, HAMPTON, POQUOSON, SURRY, YORK, PORTSMOUTH, CHESAPEAKE, AND NORFOLK. CODE ORANGE CONDITIONS ARE LIKELY IN THE FOLLOW COUNTIES/CITES: ACCOMACK, NORTHAMPTON, CHARLES CITY CO., JAMES CITY CO., KING AND QUEEN, MIDDLESEX, ESSEX, MATHEWS, GLOUCESTER, LANCASTER, RICHMOND COUNTY, WESTMORELAND, AND NORTHUMBERLAND.***

THIS FORECAST MAY BE UPDATED FRIDAY MORNING PENDING CONDITIONS.

Dan Salkovitz
VADEQ Meteorologist

From: Dan Salkovitz

Sent: August 18, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Smoke discussion update, Thursday morning, August 18th

Media reports, social media reports and various web cams are indicating the Dismal Swamp smoke plume is impacting the Peninsula (York County, Newport News, Hampton, and Poquoson). As a result, the air quality forecast is updated to Code Red for those areas. In addition the following counties/cities may experience Code Orange conditions: Northampton, Accomac, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and Portsmouth.

Here are some general guidelines for citizens to use in assessing local air quality conditions whenever there is wildfire smoke present:

- If you can smell smoke with no visibility impairment, air quality levels are probably in the Code Orange range, or Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups. At Code Orange levels, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should reduce prolonged, strenuous outdoor activities. People who are active outdoors also should take it easier to limit their exposure to particle pollution.

- If you can smell smoke with minor visibility impairment, air quality levels are probably in the Code Red range, or generally Unhealthy. At Code Red levels, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should avoid prolonged, strenuous outdoor activities; everyone else should reduce prolonged, strenuous outdoor activities.

- If you can smell smoke with significant visibility impairment, air quality levels are probably in the Code Purple range, or Very Unhealthy. At Code Purple levels, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should avoid all outdoor strenuous activities; everyone else should avoid prolonged, strenuous outdoor activities.

Dan Salkovitz
VADEQ Meteorologist

From: Dan Salkovitz

Sent: August 18, 2011 at 7:41 am

Special smoke impact discussion, August 17th

SMOKE FROM THE GREAT DISMAL SWAMP WILDFIRE WILL IMPACT PORTIONS OF VIRGINIA WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND THURSDAY. PLEASE NOTE THERE IS CONSIDERABLE UNCERTAINTY WITH REGARDS TO THE INTENSITY OF THE SMOKE FARTHER AWAY FROM THE FIRE LOCATION (THE DISMAL SWAMP). THEREFORE, THE AIR QUALITY FORECAST IS BASED ON WHERE THE WINDS INDICATE THE PLUME MAY IMPACT, REGARDLESS OF SMOKE INTENSITY. PLUME MODELS SEEM TO INDICATE SIGNIFICANT SMOKE AFFECTS MAY OCCUR OVER A LARGE AREA. ANY PRECIPITATION THAT MAY OCCUR TOMORROW WILL HELP TO MITIGATE SMOKE IMPACTS.

FOR TONIGHT THROUGH 8:00 AM TOMORROW: OCCASIONAL CODE RED CONDITIONS ARE LIKELY IN SUFFOLK AND THE COUNTIES OF SOUTHAMPTON AND ISLE OF WIGHT OVERNIGHT. OCCASIONAL CODE ORANGE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE IN THE FOLLOW COUNTIES/CITES: GREENSVILLE, SUSSEX, SURRY, DINWIDDIE, PETERSBURG, HOPEWELL, COLONIAL HEIGHTS, PRINCE GEORGE, CITY OF RICHMOND, CHARLES CITY COUNTY, CHESTERFIELD, AMELIA, POWHATAN, HENRICO, HANOVER AND NEW KENT.

FOR THURSDAY: CODE RED CONDITIONS ARE LIKELY IN SUFFOLK AND ISLE OF WIGHT COUNTY THROUGH TOMORROW EVENING. OCCASIONAL CODE ORANGE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE IN THE FOLLOW COUNTIES/CITIES: SOUTHAMPTON, GREENSVILLE, SUSSEX, SURRY, PETERSBURG, HOPEWELL, COLONIAL HEIGHTS, PRINCE GEORGE, CITY OF RICHMOND, CHARLES CITY COUNTY, CHESTERFIELD, HENRICO, CAROLINE, KING WILLIAM, JAMES CITY COUNTY, KING AND QUEEN, ESSEX, WESTMORELAND, RICHMOND COUNTY, NORTHUMBERLAND, LANCASTER, HANOVER AND NEW KENT.***

THIS FORECAST MAY BE UPDATED THURSDAY MORNING PENDING CONDITIONS.

Dan Salkovitz
VADEQ Meteorologist

From: Dan Salkovitz

Sent: August 17, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Resent due to email error: DISMAL SWAMP FIRE SMOKE UPDATE, Thursday morning, August 17th

A thick smoke plume has created very poor visibility in southern parts of the city of Suffolk and parts of the counties of Southampton and Isle of Wight. Code Orange air quality conditions will occur the remainder of the day in those areas. Code Red/Purple conditions are occasionally possible in areas with the thickest smoke, notably along Routes 13 and 32.
The smoke plume can be seen clearly on satellite images this morning:
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/wfo/akq/vis-l.jpg
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/wfo/akq/flash-vis.html

Here are some general guidelines for citizens to use in assessing local air quality conditions whenever there is wildfire smoke present:

- If you can smell smoke with no visibility impairment, air quality levels are probably in the Code Orange range, or Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups. At Code Orange levels, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should reduce prolonged or strenuous outdoor activities. People who are active outdoors also should take it easier to limit their exposure to particle pollution.

- If you can smell smoke with minor visibility impairment (1 to 3 miles), air quality levels are probably in the Code Red range, or generally Unhealthy. At Code Red levels, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should avoid prolonged or strenuous outdoor activities; everyone else should reduce prolonged or strenuous outdoor activities.

- If you can smell smoke with significant visibility impairment (less than 1 mile), air quality levels are probably in the Code Purple range, or Very Unhealthy. At Code Purple levels, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should avoid all outdoor strenuous activities; everyone else should avoid prolonged or strenuous outdoor activities

Dan Salkovitz
Meteorologist
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA 23218
Phone: (804) 698-4404 Fax: (804) 698-4510
Phone toll-free in Virginia: (1-800) 592-5482 ext. 4404
Work Email: Daniel.Salkovitz@deq.virginia.gov
Other Email: dsalkovi@yahoo.com
http://www.deq.virginia.gov/airquality/
Access the Air Quality Assessments Webpage:
http://www.deq.virginia.gov/air/assessments

From: Dan Salkovitz

Sent: August 17, 2011 at 9:16 am

DISMAL SWAMP FIRE SMOKE UPDATE, Thursday morning, August 17th

A thick smoke plume has created poor visibility in southern parts of the city of Suffolk and parts of the counties of Southampton and Isle of Wight. Code Orange air quality conditions will occur the remainder of the day in those areas. Code Red/Purple conditions are occasionally possible in areas with the thickest smoke, notably along Routes 13 and 32.
The smoke plume can be seen clearly on satellite images this morning:
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/wfo/akq/vis-l.jpg
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/wfo/akq/flash-vis.html

Dan Salkovitz
VADEQ Meteorologist

From: Dan Salkovitz

Sent: August 17, 2011 at 9:06 am