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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Friday, August 1, 2014 12:27 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Air quality is GOOD across Montana today. As has been the case for the past week, a strong ridge of high pressure has kept smoke from distant fires away from the state. Fires within Montana have, up to this point, been small and have not caused widespread impacts. Some areas are approaching MODERATE 24-hour air quality due to the build-up of pollutants in the atmosphere under the high pressure.

Fire activity has been picking up in Northern California this week. Mid-level winds may carry smoke from California, Oregon, and Washington into Montana this weekend and into early next week. Throughout this period, scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible in many areas. These storms may help temporarily mitigate any smoke impacts that occur.

Overall, expect air quality to remain GOOD in most locations today. Some areas may see MODERATE conditions due to a build-up of pollutants over the last week. Areas downwind of local fires may see elevated smoke impacts. Air quality may reach MODERATE TO UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS this weekend as smoke from distant fires may impact the area.
Air quality is GOOD across most of the state today. Some areas are seeing PM2.5 levels building up in the atmosphere due to the high pressure that has been over the state for the past week. Smoke may return this weekend as the high pressure begins to break down and wind patterns shift.
Residents near active fires and under plumes aloft need to remain aware of current conditions and use the visibility guidelines to guide their activity decisions as the situation changes.

Kristen Martin
State Air Quality Meteorologist
Air Resource Management Bureau
Montana Department of Environmental Quality
Phone: (406) 444-0283
Email: kmartin@mt.gov




Satellite imagery shows unsettled weather in Idaho and partly cloudy skies in Montana. 

Satellite imagery shows unsettled weather in Idaho and partly cloudy skies in Montana.
Source: NWS

 
The skies look mostly clear in Butte today.

The skies look mostly clear in Butte today.
Source: KTVQ

This morning’s analysis from NOAA’s satellite services division shows the active fires in Montana and the smoke plumes combining and spreading downwind (the analyzed smoke is based on yesterday’s satellite coverage, the fire detects are based on last nights satellite coverage).

This morning’s analysis from NOAA’s satellite services division shows the active fires in Montana and the smoke plumes combining and spreading downwind (the analyzed smoke is based on yesterday’s satellite coverage, the fire detects are based on last nights satellite coverage).

Red indicates hot spot detected. Grey represents smoke seen by satellite. Fire size is exaggerated for visibility at this scale. To identify individual fires on graphic above go here: http://activefiremaps.fs.fed.us/lg_fire2.php 

The current fires over northern California, Oregon, and Washington may impact our area this weekend.

The current fires over northern California, Oregon, and Washington may impact our area this weekend.
Source: USFS

The smoke report below compares particulate levels where information is available to MDEQ’s Health Effects Categories. Real time particulate information is currently available in most of the larger urban areas from several different sources including: DEQ run PM-10 BAMS and PM2.5 BAMS, NWS ASOS visibility monitors, and USFS remote access Nephelometers and BAMS. These advisories represent conditions between midnight and 8 AM and may change substantially throughout the day.

Locations and severity of forest fire smoke reports since midnight of the date above at reporting stations.
Health Effects Categories City
  Hazardous  
  Very Unhealthy  
  Unhealthy  
  Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups  
  Moderate

  

  Good

 All reporting sites. 

B1(x) One-hour BAM value (number of values)
B8(x) Eight-hour average BAM
B24 24 hour  average BAM value
Vis(x) Visibility value (number of hours)
Vis(am/pm) Visibility value from twice/day reporting stations

Local impacts in areas immediately adjacent to active fires are expected to exceed some or all of the advisory levels.  DEQ recommends the use of local visibility guidelines to evaluate possible health risks and make informed activity decisions.