2007 Southern California Wildfires and High Winds
This page last reviewed January 27, 2014
This widely documented event began with high winds from a surface cold front and the ignition of the Ranch Fire in Los Angeles County on Saturday, October 20, 2007. Numerous additional fires were fueled by strong Santa Ana winds, which helped spread smoke, dust, and ash throughout Southern California. On October 21, the Governor of California declared a State of Emergency for Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) followed suit on October 24, declaring all seven counties disaster areas. At its peak, the deadly Southern California Fire Siege comprised almost 20 major wildfires, with several smaller fires contributing to the pall of smoke over the region. By the time the last fire had been declared contained on November 13, over a half-million acres had burned, thousands of buildings had been destroyed, and almost a million residents had been displaced.
Although most monitoring sites in the region were affected, ARB is requesting exclusion of data from 14 sites in five Air Districts where smoke, dust and ash caused levels to exceed those historically seen during the fall season.
The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) provides the definition and criteria for determining whether air quality data is impacted by an exceptional event. The 40 CFR 50.1 (j)1 definition states that “exceptional event means an event that affects air quality, is not reasonably controllable or preventable, is an event caused by human activity that is unlikely to recur at a particular location or a natural event, and is determined by the Administrator in accordance with 40 CFR 50.14 to be an exceptional event.” The demonstration to justify data exclusion as outlined in 40 CFR 50.14 specifies that evidence must be provided that:
- The event meets the definition of an exceptional event;
- There is a clear causal relationship between the measurement under
consideration and the event that is claimed to have affected air
quality in the area;
- The event is associated with a measured concentration in excess of
normal historical fluctuations, including background; and,
- There would have been no exceedance or violation but for the event.
- Natural Event
Document (pdf - 2.4 mb)
A. Monitoring Sites and Days Requested for Exclusion (pdf - 11 kb)
B. Air Quality Data and Statistics (pdf - 3.5 mb)
C.Meteorological Charts and Data (pdf - 3.0 mb)
D. Fire Information (pdf - 17.0 mb)
E. Satellite Imagery (pdf - 2 mb)
F. NOAA Satellite Services, Smoke Detection (pdf - 1.3 mb)
G. Government Notices, Proclamations, and Advisories (pdf - 7.4 mb)
H. News and Media Coverage (pdf - 7.4 mb)
I. Supplemental Materials (Combined - pdf - 16.8 mb)
- California Air Resources Board - Initial PM Exceptional Event
Documentation – December 17, 2007 (pdf - 3 mb)
- San Diego Air Pollution Control District - Intent to Flag and Initial Documentation
– December 5, 2007 (pdf - 3 mb)
- Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control
District - Ozone Exceptional
Event Documentation – March 11, 2009 (pdf - 3 mb)
- South Coast Air Pollution Control District - PM Exceptional Event Documentation
– December 22, 2009 (pdf - 3 mb)
- Ventura County Air Pollution Control District - PM Exceptional Event Documentation
– March 9, 2009 (pdf - 3 mb)
- California Air Resources Board - Initial PM Exceptional Event Documentation – December 17, 2007 (pdf - 3 mb)
Additional Web-based Information regarding the 2007 Southern California Wildfire and High Wind Event (not comprehensive; active as of 1/27/14.)
- California Digital Library
2007 Southern California Wildfires Web Archive
- Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies
(CIMSS) Satellite Blog.
California fires: a “smoke signal” in the water vapor imagery?
- Google Earth Blog
California Wildfires, Satellite Photos
California Fires Master Layer
Lat Long Blog Master Layer
- National Geographic News
California Fires Rage, Visible From Space.
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Images of California Wildfires
Earth Observatory - Fires in Southern California.
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Operational Significant Event Imagery.
2007 Southern California Wildfires
Satellites and Information. STAR – Center for Satellite Applications and Research – Air Quality Remote Sensing Program. - Near Real-Time Monitoring of Smoke Plumes from the October 2007 California Fires by NOAA GOES Imager.
- Newseum – Interactive Museum and Archive of Newspaper
Wednesday, October 24, 2007. (this link has been retired)
- San Diego State University, Department of Geography.
Web Mapping Service for San Diego 2007 Wildfires.
- Science Daily
NASA Satellite Images Show Rapid Growth of California Wildfires
- United States Government. USA.gov
California Fires – Government Information and Assistance
- University of Maryland, Baltimore County
U.S. Air Quality Website.
- Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
October 2007 California wildfires.