The smoke elevated levels of particulate matter around and south of Jacksonville to unhealthy levels, according to AIRNow. The smog blog, a website operated by UMBC scientists, reported that the CALIPSO satellite had recorded high particulate levels around Jacksonville with its lidar instrument.
Lightning sparked the fire on April 5, 2012, and it had burned a total of 25,000 square acres by April 11, 2012. Florida is typically dry in April, but an ongoing drought in the Southeast has brought exceptionally dry conditions to the area west of Jacksonville. That city has seen only 31 percent of normal rainfall so far this year, a deficit of nearly 20 centimeters (8 inches).