DESCRIPTIVE TEXT NARRATIVE FOR SMOKE/DUST OBSERVED IN SATELLITE IMAGERY
THROUGH 0200Z July 15, 2006.
Minnesota/Michigan: A couple of large fires erupted this afternoon in the counties of Cook and Lake in the arrowhead of northeastern Minnesota. The long and locally dense smoke plumes were moving in a southeastward direction across western Lake Superior and into the western portion of the upper peninsula of Michigan. Montana/Wyoming/Colorado/The Dakotas/Central Plains: Major fires continue to burn across southeastern Montana just east of Billings MT, northeastern Wyoming just east of Sheridan WY, and in the Black Hills National Forest of far northeastern Wyoming. The smoke appeared to be very dense in visible satellite imagery as it spread and fanned out as it moved eastward across southeastern Montana, northeastern Wyoming, and the western and central portion of both South and North Dakota. Relatively thinner smoke was observed in evening visible satellite imagery across the remainder of the Dakotas, western Minnesota, and even farther south across the Central Plains including portions of Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, northern Oklahoma, and eastern Colorado. While it is likely that a good portion of this smoke is from the large fires burning in Montana and Wyoming, it is also possible that some older leftover smoke from the fires farther to the southwest including the very big one burning in San Bernardino County of southern California may be contributing to the hazy/smokey appearance on satellite imagery. In addition to this another very large fire was detected in the Shoshone National Forest in southern Park County of northwestern Wyoming. The moderately dense to locally dense area of smoke from this particular fire was moving in an east-northeast or northeast direction across north central Wyoming. Western and Southwestern US(Including California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico): The massive fire over southwestern San Bernardino county just north of Palm Springs continues to produce a massive very dense smoke plume which was fanning out as it moved mainly in a northward direction. The late afternoon/evening visible imagery also indicated slightly less dense smoke stretching from off the coast of southern California just north of Los Angeles, across southern and central Nevada including the Las Vegas metro area. The smoke thinned out even more as it extended northeastward across southwestern to northern Utah including the Salt Lake City area. Significant fires were also detected over northern Coconino County of northwestern Arizona as well as central White Pine County of eastern Nevada. These fires were emitting locally very dense batches of smoke which were generally moving in a northward direction. A somewhat smaller fire in the mountains just east of San Diego, CA was producing a moderately dense batch of smoke which spread out to the west and north, possibly grazing the eastern fringes of San Diego. Finally, another very large wildfire near the border of Stanislaus and Santa Clara Counties of west central California was responsible for a locally dense area of smoke which was generally moving in a northerly direction across Sacramento and the Sacramento Valley. Visible imagery just prior to sunset also showed a rather thin area of possible smoke covering western New Mexico and a good portion of Arizona. This possible area of smoke was likely the result of a number of the fires across the southwestern US, including the large San Bernardino County fire. JS