Skip to main content
The Hurricane Creek Fire (Created by Jim Brenner)
The Hurricane Creek Fire started as a lightning strike on July 13, 2014 grew to 120 acres by the 18th of July.  What we see from the AQI index (pm 2.5 Air Quality table at the end of this
post) is that despite an almost five fold increase in size on the 20th of July,  for a total of 645 acres, the worst air quality measured in Enterprise occurred on July 16th and 17th.  (See the photo to the left for the 17th.)  This prompts the question, since the wind direction was the same during the runs on the 16th and 17th as we saw on the 20th, and the amount of fuel consumed and particulate matter lofted was much higher (north facing slope on the 20th with heavy down/dead fuels that spotted into the crowns) why were Enterprise and Joseph spared on the 20th.  The answer to this question is the vertical instability of the air on the 20th ( see the vertical column picture on the left from the 20th of July.) with higher mixing heights allowed the smoke to lift up and out of the area where on the 16th and 17th this very unstable condition did not exist.  Even though the amount of smoke produced was far less as a whole, the lifting mechanism was not there during the earlier part of the burn so the people in Enterprise were impacted more and the air quality index was moderately(poor) as opposed to what is considered good air quality on
Sunday the 20th
The fire has good fire line on the west and parts of the north and south boundary.  The northern boundary is green and wet and has held well since the 17th.  The southern boundary is a rocky steep ridge with a south facing slope on the other side that has very sparse green surface fuels and to date has not had any spotting problems from the main fire.  The east is all granite.  Because of this, the fire will, unless there are significant changes in the fuels, most likely display some minor smoldering in the interior of the burn but will not be making any serious runs that will expand the existing acreage. 
Current Air Quality
As a result of the fire inactivity over the past 5 days the air quality in the area of Enterprise and Joseph has been good.  There is no smoke detectable by the local residents, and no complaints of any respiratory problems as a result of smoke in the air from the local citizenry.  In short, all is very quiet on this front in the Joseph, Enterprise area and should remain that way barring any new starts or a change in the fuel characteristics that would allow the Hurricane fire (if there is still sufficient heat within the burn perimeter) to spot out on the south facing slope along the southern ridge line.