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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Thursday, August 15, 2013 8:51 AM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Air quality is GOOD at all reporting locations this morning. There is some light to moderate smoke high in the atmosphere over parts of central Montana, but most of this smoke is actually over Idaho and Wyoming.

We are expecting hot and dry conditions today which will cause increased fire activity and smoke production. Most of the largest smoke-producing wildfires have been in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and northern California, but we also have a fire in far southwestern Montana that has been growing under these conditions and it should continue to grow today. This is the Eureka fire in a remote location in the Gravelly Mountain Range. Given the direction of atmospheric winds today, smoke may become visible in the Madison Valley, West Yellowstone area, the Paradise Valley, and possibly as far north at Bozeman. Air quality may reach MODERATE levels later this afternoon because of this fire. Other fires, particularly across Idaho, may also impact air quality across other parts of southwestern and far western Montana this afternoon. Generally, from Missoula over to Great Falls and southward, this region of the state has the highest chance of air quality impacts today. Only MODERATE impacts are expected, but there may be localized areas that reach UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS for a time this evening. Elsewhere, air quality will be generally GOOD under clear, hot skies.
There will be another update later this afternoon with an update on the latest fire activity and 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 8:15 this morning. Skies are mostly clear except for some high clouds across far northwestern Montana. Light smoke is visible high in the atmosphere through central Montana, just east of the mountains, and the heaviest smoke is visible from central Idaho through western Wyoming. 

This is the visible satellite image from 8:15 this morning. Skies are mostly clear except for some high clouds across far northwestern Montana. Light smoke is visible high in the atmosphere through central Montana, just east of the mountains, and the heaviest smoke is visible from central Idaho through western Wyoming.


 
A layer of smoke high in the atmosphere is seen far in the distance along the horizon in West Yellowstone this morning.

A layer of smoke high in the atmosphere is seen far in the distance along the horizon in West Yellowstone this morning.





 




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 locations 

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.