Visit Spare The Air's website for near real-time air quality readings from monitoring stations in the Sacramento Region. The Spare The Air program is a partnership between the Sacramento Metropolitan, El Dorado, Feather River, Placer and Yolo-Solano Air Districts. To understand how AQI readings are calculated, please visit AirNow's website.
Download the free Sacramento Region Air Quality app to get air quality data for monitoring sites in the Sacramento Region. Push notifications for wildfire smoke alerts are also available through the app.
The PM 2.5 Monitor Map is activated on SpareTheAir.com when a wildfire smoke episode is anticipated or occurs. This map provides EPA's NowCast PM 2.5 levels at all regional monitors, including any temporary monitors placed and brought online by Sac Metro Air District, another air district, or CARB.
The California Smoke Blog is maintained and updated by several public agencies. Air quality advisories and smoke forecasts are often posted there by the U.S. Forest Service and air districts.
AQMIS is provided by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and provides raw hourly concentration readings from air monitors throughout the state. To use AQMIS Query Tool to check for wildfire smoke impacts, click on the Hourly Data tab and select PM 2.5 as the parameter. Change the date and time of day as needed. You can either select Sacramento County for a more narrow list of monitors or Sacramento Valley from the list of air basins for a broader look at the region. Hit the Retrieve Data button to get the data table. You can convert these concentrations (micrograms per cubic meter) to the Air Quality Index (AQI), though keep in mind that the AQI ranges are based on health impacts from prolonged exposure, not short-term exposure. Download conversion chart.
Purple Air low-cost sensors are individually owned. Data collected by citizen scientists is uploaded to the Purple Air map to show air quality readings. Click here to view the map.
During a wildfire smoke episode, the National Weather Service typically includes information on smoke in its robust daily forecast discussions. These forecasts incorporate wind direction and strength in addition to other atmospheric conditions that impact smoke transport. Sac Metro Air District's daily air quality forecast also considers smoke modeling during episodes. This includes forecasting PM 2.5 levels during periods of concern in addition to factoring in wildfire smoke's impact on ground-level ozone formation.
These tools help to visualize smoke plumes from various fires. GOES-East: This resource from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides a loop of satellite imagery for the West Coast, updated every five minutes and using True Color during the day and multispectral infrared at night. An explanation of how to read the map is included at the link. NASA Worldview: NASA provides a single daily satellite image along with fire indicators that show smoke plumes in addition to cloud cover and fog. NASA offers additional information on its Fire & Smoke page.
Social media is a great way to stay informed during a wildfire smoke episode. Here are some resources to follow.