The increase in wildfires and poor air quality in California has raised awareness of fire and air pollution risks. Several Coloma Lotus community and business member-initiated discussions about how we could help reduce these risks in our community and approached the Coloma Lotus Advisory Committee (CLAC) to help an ad hoc committee comprised of community and business members to address these concerns.
Two of the more common fire alerts in California are Red Flag Days (conditions that determined red flag days can be found here and No Burn Days are determined by conditions that span large regional areas of California. When conditions are so regionally prevalent that they trigger a Red Flag Day or No Burn Day alert, local residents should always take precautions. However, a regional alert may not occur if those conditions are confined to relatively small sections of the broader region, such as the Coloma Lotus Valley. For that reason, we are proposing to alert our Valley's residents and businesses when such conditions arise locally.
1- Critical Weather Patterns - Wind Speed and Humidity - Leading to Wildfires
If we are in the Orange or Red Zones ( see the chart) we recommend NO wood or charcoal fire burning. Covered propane grills are OK.
The Critical Weather Patterns Matrix assumes daytime 10 - hour fuel moisture < 6% (measured at 1300), annual grasses are cured, and no wetting rain (greater than 0.10 inch) has fallen in the last 24 hours. The wind event should be expected to last at least 8 hours.
Spark Risk - SR:
No Open Flame - NOF:
2- Air Quality Index (AQI)
If we are in the Orange, Red, Purple, or Maroon colors we recommend NO wood or charcoal fire burning. Covered propane grills are OK.
Note: In the Coloma Lotus Valley, we have Air Inversions - a layer of cooler air is trapped near the ground by a layer of warm air above the surface. When the air cannot rise, pollution accumulates near the ground, leading to higher pollutant concentrations.
Below are some links to additional resources.
EPA - Patient Exposure and Air Quality Index
Epa - Outdoor Air Filtration Factsheet
Where is the local data coming from?
The data that determines fire ignition risk and pollution risk is collected by different types of stations.
Is this Program for businesses or for residents?
Is this a law or an ordinance?
What laws, ordinances, and regulations are already in place for fires and smoke?
Similarly, there are many existing restrictions on smoke and particulate matter pollution at the county, regional, state, and federal levels.
Can I install a Purple Air (an air pollution monitor) or NOAA?NWS - compliant weather station on my property?
Will there be fire risk signage for visitors?
What do I do if I want to report a Public Nuisance - concerns about fires and/or air pollution?
Where can I provide input on the program?