Wildfire Smoke Updates Home | Archived Wildfire Smoke Updates

Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Thursday, July 25, 2013 10:09 AM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Last night, strong thunderstorms moved through parts of central Montana. These strong storms mixed with the large smoke plume coming off the Bob Marshall Wilderness and made the air visibly hazy around the Great Falls region and east end of the Helena Valley. Despite this interaction, air quality remained GOODin both locations. Smoke also pushed over the Bitterroot Valley last night, but air quality remained GOOD there as well. All monitored locations show GOOD air quality this morning.

Today will be slightly cooler than yesterday, but we are still expecting fire activity to pick up in the late afternoon as we have seen for the past several days. Isolated, pop-up thunderstorms are also possible this afternoon, particularly over the terrain in western Montana. These thunderstorms will cause strong, varying winds. Like yesterday, these winds may interact with any nearby smoke plumes, but air quality should remain generally GOOD, even if skies become a bit hazy.
There will be another update late this afternoon with a full forecast.
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




This is the visible satellite image from 7:45 last night, showing the large clouds and thunderstorms that passed through eastern Montana. You can also see the smoke plume blowing over the central Bitterroot Valley. 

This is the visible satellite image from 7:45 last night, showing the large clouds and thunderstorms that passed through eastern Montana. You can also see the smoke plume blowing over the central Bitterroot Valley.


 








 




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

 Libby
Flathead Valley
Frenchtown
Missoula
Hamilton
Helena
Butte
Bozeman
West Yellowstone
Great Falls
Malta
Lewistown
Billings
Birney
Sidney
 

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.