Moderators: jsumali2, richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
sonicruiser
Topic Author
Posts: 921
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:18 am

Impact of wildfires on aviation

Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:00 am

Given how wildfires in California have been in the news recently, what kind of impact do wildfires have on aviation with regard to air quality levels and routing?
شما می توانید مردم را تحریم کنید ، اما نمی توانید سبک تحریم را اعمال کنید

You can sanction people, but you can't sanction style
 
User avatar
PatrickZ80
Posts: 4286
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

Re: Impact of wildfires on aviation

Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:21 pm

In most cases it won't have any impact as planes fly on an altitude that is not affected by the wildfires. Only where planes fly lower, which is near airports, there might be some impact. However I'm not aware of any wildfires near airports.
 
MIflyer12
Posts: 8266
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:58 pm

Re: Impact of wildfires on aviation

Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:42 pm

OP might research the Eagle Creek Fire of September 2017, which wasn't too far from PDX and was under common east/west flight paths.
 
Newark727
Posts: 2118
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 6:42 pm

Re: Impact of wildfires on aviation

Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:24 pm

They usually issue TFRs for the areas around the fires to keep general aviation traffic out and reserve the space for firefighting aircraft. Commercial traffic is usually flying high enough that there isn't a problem, but the fires do sometimes coincide with high Santa Ana winds which can rearrange some of the runways and approach patterns in use.
 
SonomaFlyer
Posts: 2231
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:47 pm

Re: Impact of wildfires on aviation

Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:46 pm

During the 2017 fires, STS operated despite severely restricted visibility requiring go arounds at times. All flights were turns with no crews staying overnight given many of our hotels burned down including the hotel AS used. STS is also the main base for CalFire aircraft in the fire season for the north coast area. Commercial flights operated in conjunction with fire fighting tankers, spotter aircraft and helicopters. It was BUSY in 2017.

Routes generally aren't adjusted as altitudes involved are above most of the smoke etc.
 
phllax
Posts: 610
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 6:53 am

Re: Impact of wildfires on aviation

Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:56 pm

Burbank is open.
 
arfbool
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:02 am

Re: Impact of wildfires on aviation

Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:52 pm

Anecdotally, watching FlightRadar24, Burbank arrivals are going further west of the airport to avoid the fires and the associated aerial firefighting traffic. Normally they would fly right over the affected area at less than 6,000 feet.
 
sonicruiser
Topic Author
Posts: 921
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:18 am

Re: Impact of wildfires on aviation

Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:16 pm

arfbool wrote:
Anecdotally, watching FlightRadar24, Burbank arrivals are going further west of the airport to avoid the fires and the associated aerial firefighting traffic. Normally they would fly right over the affected area at less than 6,000 feet.


I noticed that too, it looks like Burbank is definitely the most affected of all the LA area airports
شما می توانید مردم را تحریم کنید ، اما نمی توانید سبک تحریم را اعمال کنید

You can sanction people, but you can't sanction style
 
outbackair
Posts: 155
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 6:01 pm

Re: Impact of wildfires on aviation

Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:30 am

In case people in USA haven't noticed, there are much bigger wildfires around the world - Amazon and Indonesia/Malaysia. They have a huge impact. One was a partial cause of a Garuda A300 crash due to low visibility from smoke (1997). https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ash-24822/
 
n6238p
Posts: 438
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2006 5:35 am

Re: Impact of wildfires on aviation

Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:34 am

Last year it was annoying to have an overnight in SEA. My eyes burned trying to walk around. Visibility was around 3 miles. Instrument approaches every time.
To actively root against anybody is just low, and I hope karma comes back at you with a vengeance
 
RyanAirB737
Posts: 72
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:52 am

Re: Impact of wildfires on aviation

Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:23 am

My flight B6 358 flew very close to the Saddleridge fire at maybe 5000 or 6000 feet. There's a photo below.

Last year, our approach path from the Bay Area usually goes directly over where the large fire was burning in Box Canyon between Simi Valley and Calabasas (I can't remember the name of it). We were shifted to the east (entering the Valley over Porter Ranch) with a pretty steep descent, and then into the usual final to runway 8.

Image
https://imgur.com/a/WAWxuRN
 
arfbool
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:02 am

Re: Impact of wildfires on aviation

Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:41 am

RyanAirB737 wrote:
My flight B6 358 flew very close to the Saddleridge fire at maybe 5000 or 6000 feet. There's a photo below.

Last year, our approach path from the Bay Area usually goes directly over where the large fire was burning in Box Canyon between Simi Valley and Calabasas (I can't remember the name of it). We were shifted to the east (entering the Valley over Porter Ranch) with a pretty steep descent, and then into the usual final to runway 8.

Image
https://imgur.com/a/WAWxuRN


Was this taken Friday night or Thursday night? Judging by your photo, it looks like Sylmar, where the fire started before it spread to Porter Ranch. I looked at the tracks published on FlightAware for Jetblue 358 and the route Friday was altered such that you would not have had that view. But on Thursday, the fire was not yet widely reported and indeed you would have seen that view.
 
RyanAirB737
Posts: 72
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:52 am

Re: Impact of wildfires on aviation

Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:47 am

arfbool wrote:
RyanAirB737 wrote:
My flight B6 358 flew very close to the Saddleridge fire at maybe 5000 or 6000 feet. There's a photo below.

Last year, our approach path from the Bay Area usually goes directly over where the large fire was burning in Box Canyon between Simi Valley and Calabasas (I can't remember the name of it). We were shifted to the east (entering the Valley over Porter Ranch) with a pretty steep descent, and then into the usual final to runway 8.

Image
https://imgur.com/a/WAWxuRN


Was this taken Friday night or Thursday night? Judging by your photo, it looks like Sylmar, where the fire started before it spread to Porter Ranch. I looked at the tracks published on FlightAware for Jetblue 358 and the route Friday was altered such that you would not have had that view. But on Thursday, the fire was not yet widely reported and indeed you would have seen that view.


This was indeed on Thursday night, probably between 9:45 and 10pm. People spotted it out the window right after we took off and everyone was looking. Based on the direction we were traveling, I could easily point it out as near Sylmar and then verified with FlightRadar. It must have started an a couple of hours before we took off. It was very windy. Surprisingly, we still departed on runway 15 -- usually Santa Ana winds necessitate departing from 33.
 
User avatar
DocLightning
Posts: 21861
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:51 am

Re: Impact of wildfires on aviation

Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:55 am

Last year during the major fires that blanketed the SF area in smoke, we had no issues flying out to a conference at LAS and back. Wood ash does not impact jet engines that much. It's fragile and breaks up in the compressor and turbines. Volcanic ash is quite a different matter. Volcanic ash is made of rock, which can melt in the combustor and then solidify on the turbine blades and stators. Even volcanic ash that is so rarified that it appears as clear air can cause engines to shut down.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos