The Telegraph fire was mapped Monday night at around 123,000 acres, with approximately 31,800 acres of growth yesterday. The fire was very active on the east/southeast side and produced a large amount of smoke, which dispersed west/northwest. Smoke did move over the Phoenix Valley; however, no monitors or sensors recorded significant smoke at the surface within the Valley as smoke stayed well elevated off the ground.
With hot and dry weather conditions today, expecting continued smoke production as the fire remains active. Like yesterday, we are forecasting smoke to quickly rise above ground level and disperse toward the west throughout the day. While Superior, Queen Valley, and the Hayden area may see light smoke during the day, overall impacts are expected to be light. Smoke will also continue to move over the Phoenix Valley; however, only expecting light (if any) impacts at the surface.
An important note: There will once again be a possibility of high-based (dry) thunderstorms near/over the region, resulting in strong gusty outflows winds this afternoon and again tomorrow afternoon. As a result, smoke could move in any direction and cause brief but moderate to high smoke impacts to locations around the fire. These outflow winds may also briefly push smoke into Queen Valley, Florence, and the far East Valley of Phoenix; however, any impacts are expected to be short-lived.
Smoke from the Pinnacle Fire (west of Superior) and from the Johnson Fire, burning in New Mexico, will also push westward today and may combine with smoke from the Telegraph Fire.T
Tomorrow, we are forecasting a similar pattern to what is seen today.
The Telegraph fire grew by around 1,000 acres yesterday, bringing the total acreage to just over 88,000. The majority of the growth/smoke was from fire on Signal Peak.
Today (Sunday), smoke production and dispersion is expected to be very similar to what was seen yesterday, with smoke dispersing toward the east at/just above the surface and more toward the east-northeast for smoke that is lifted slightly higher up into the atmosphere. With strong surface heating, expect smoke to get plenty of lift. As a result, we are only forecasting light to brief moderate smoke impacts to the Globe area, San Carlos, and Peridot. There is also a chance smoke will move over locations in/around Whiteriver and Eagar; however, impacts at the surface are expected to remain light.
Further east, Fort Thomas and Safford may experience light to moderate smoke from the Pinnacle Fire, burning west of the area in the Pinaleno Mountains (near Santa Teresa Wilderness). Once again, with good lift during the day, impacts should not be long-lived. The fire is currently around 6,300 acres with approximately 3,000 acres of growth yesterday.
Tomorrow, as high pressure begins to shift eastward toward the Four Corners, smoke may begin to move westward over Queen Valley and over portions of the Phoenix Valley.
Also of note, regional smoke from fires in Mexico is slowly moving northward into Arizona as it wraps clockwise around the high pressure in New Mexico. While this smoke is expected to remain mostly elevated off the ground, it may result in hazy conditions across the state.
The Telegraph fire is now around 87,000 acres, and for the second day in a row, no new perimeter growth on the Mescal Fire, which has been mapped at 72,196 acres.
Weather and smoke conditions Saturday and Sunday are expected to be very similar to what was seen on Friday. Smoke is forecast to slowly disperse toward the east both days. This means light to moderate impacts will once again be possible throughout the day in/around Globe, San Carlos, and Peridot.
With the light winds, not expecting smoke to disperse as far as we saw last weekend into the first part of next week; however, during the heat of the day, smoke that becomes slightly higher up in the atmosphere is forecast to move toward the northeast. There is a slight possibility smoke could move over areas in/around Whiteriver and Eagar this afternoon; however, impacts at the surface are expected to be light.
Further east in Safford, smoke from the Telegraph may combine with smoke from the Pinnacle Fire, burning west of the area in the Pinaleno Mountains (near Santa Teresa Wilderness). As a result, the region in/around Safford may experience light to moderate smoke throughout the day into the overnight hours.