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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Quick update: The air quality here is not very good. Riding down from Nederland this morning, the air was clear (and a bit cold ~40F) but by 8:30, the area around Boulder was blanketed in a shroud of smoke. It smelled like a camp fire and my eyes burned riding from Table Mesa to Gunbarrel. Near Ft Collins, the plume from the High Park Fire is being blown eastward then spreading out.

Air quality Index - note that the maps can't take into account the topography so there are areas that are worse and better than others. For instance Table Mesa / South Boulder Road near 76th street is quite smokey while in Gunbarrel, 3 miles away, it is significantly clearer.

Panorama looking northeast, to east, to south, to northwest  (http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/technology/bao/webcam/)

Looking toward the Flatirons (http://boulderflatironcam.com/)
 Meanwhile @ 8000 feet... its clear (http://nedcam.nednet.net/)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Another year and more fires. As we are coming to the end of a La Nina cycle (a double one), we would like to think it is getting wetter outside, however it is dry, dry, dry. Relative humidity is between 3 - 10%. If you have been trying to survive, keeping an eye on, or worrying about the High Park Fire or the Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fires (and way too many others), there have been many tweets and discussions about the fires. I've pulled together some images with links to the resources for the past few days to try to make sense of the descriptions. Thoughts of safety and rain go out to those of you impacted by this fire.

Incident Information System
Overview of the current wildfires around the U.S. including

Current and official information on the High Park Fire  from Larimer County Emergency Information

4:48 PM - Jun 11  The official cause of the High Park Fire has been confirmed as lightning.  The High Park Fire remains at 36,930 acres with 0% containment.

'Photos' of the fire plume from Space (using MODIS)High Peak Fire near Ft Collins, Colorado
June 11, 2012

June 10, 2012
Source: Fire Detection Maps with MODIS images

Perimeter of the fire
source: Fire Data in Google Earth using modis

WFAS Fire Danger Map

June 11, 2012 Smoke plumes map

June 10, 2012 Smoke plumes map

source: http://www.firedetect.noaa.gov/viewer.htm
GIS-type viewer showing fire locations and smoke plumes
main page:
Wildfire Interactive Maps
from NOAA National Geophysical Data Center

USDA Forest Service Direct Readout Data Portal - Under Land Products - Fire and Thermal Anomalies
Please read the product description to understand how these images were created and to interpret the colors

today's wind: hint.fm/wind/

more resources:http://forestry.about.com/od/forestfire/tp/wildfire_maps.htm

Interagency Real Time Smoke Monitoring for California and New Mexico : http://www.satguard.com/usfs4/realtime/fleet.asp
These graphs show the air quality in hourly and 24 average concentrations

NOAA GOES imagery: http://newweb.wrh.noaa.gov/satellite/


Pine Beetle Kill Maps: http://www.fortheforest.org/page_27 

Learn more!
Using  Forensic  Science  to  Solve  a  Wildlife  Crime

Become an investigator of a wildlife crime with NSTA’s forensics CSI curriculum book. Practice eight forensic lab procedures. Then piece together clues from the crime reports, interviews, and physical evidence you have analyzed. Finally, identify the wildlife victim, human suspect and wildlife laws that were broken. 

Date/time:      Saturday, July 14 and Sunday, July 15,  9:00 – 5:00
Credit:            1.0 semester credit from Colorado School of Mine
Grade level:  6-12
Location:       The Wildlife Experience, 10035 Peoria Street, Parker, CO 80134
Fee:                $135 ($50 tuition,  $75 registration, $10 admission fee to TWE)
                        Optional:  $25 curriculum book: Using Forensic Science to Solve a  Wildlife Crime (pay at workshop)

Call Laura Arndt, 303-660-6925 or email to laura.arndt1@gmail.com
To register:  Send Name, address, email, phone number, What/where you teach, payment to
          Nature Connections, 1779 Ward Circle, Franktown, CO 80116.

About Me

Join me in my adventures as I learn to ride a scooter and experience the world through two wheeled transport.