Smoke from the Camp Fire is Making Northern California Air Among the Unhealthiest in the World

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With only 45% of containment as of November 16, 2018 at 7:20 am, the Camp Fire has become the most destructive fire in the recorded history of California wildfires.  63 people have been killed, over 500 are still missing, and 11,000 structures have been destroyed.

The Operational Land Imager on Landsat 8 acquired this image of the Camp Fire on November 8, 2018, around 10:45 a.m. local time (18:45 Universal Time).

The Operational Land Imager on Landsat 8 acquired this image of the Camp Fire on November 8, 2018, around 10:45 a.m. local time (18:45 Universal Time). Source: NASA

As the Camp Fire continues to burn, smoke is drifting south and settling into the Bay Area and Sacramento.  With low wind speed conditions and no rain forecasted until around Thanksgiving Day, smoke has been building up in those areas, creating hazardous air quality conditions.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite captured this natural-color image above on November 9, showing the path of smoke moving south and southwest.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image above on November 9, showing the path of smoke moving south and southwest. Source: NASA

The continual arrival of smoke has pushed cities in the northern California area to air pollution levels to some of the highest around the world.  As of the readings for City Average Particulate Air Pollution (PM2.5) for Friday, November 16 2018 for 8:00am PT, California cities occupy the 2nd through 6th rankings globally.  Only Newcastle in South Africa is ranked higher.

Rankings for City Average Particulate Air Pollution (PM2.5). Source: Berkeley Earth.

Rankings for City Average Particulate Air Pollution (PM2.5). Source: Berkeley Earth.

The rankings for average city air pollution measurements continues to fluctuate depending on the conditions in California and the changing pollution levels in cities around the world.

To view the rankings visit:

Watch: California Wildfires – November 10: Camp Fire, Woolsey Fire

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