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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Sunday, August 25, 2013 6:19 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Air quality has been GOOD across much of the state today, with many MODERATE impacts when averaged over the last 24 hours. A large swath of wildfire smoke moved across western Montana late yesterday evening and through this morning, and is now moving over eastern Montana this afternoon.. Cumulative smoke exposures reached MODERATE levels in Great Falls, Lewistown, Sidney, Billings, Helena, Bozeman, and Butte, with levels that are UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS in Seeley Lake. Despite the cumulative impacts, all hourly concentrations have been GOOD though, including the town of Choteau. Across far western Montana, hourly particulate concentrations have been variable in Frenchtown, but cumulative concentrations are at levels that are UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS. Missoula and Hamilton have seen the same level of cumulative smoke exposure, but hourly concentrations have improved throughout the day and are currently GOOD. A large area of rain and thunderstorms is moving across western Montana at this time.

Air quality will remain generally GOOD through the rest of the night, with persistent MODERATE cumulative exposures, particularly across the southwest and central part of the state. In the Missoula and Bitterroot Valleys, cumulative exposures will remain at least at levels that are UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS. The weather pattern will remain mostly unchanged next week. Temperatures will stay above average in the afternoon with a chance for isolated thunderstorms over the mountains, especially in southwest Montana. Smoke will blow from the southwest to northeast every day and air quality impacts will be minor across much of the state. There may be a possible change in the weather pattern by next weekend with cooler, more fall-like temperatures, and weather that will yield less fire danger and activity.
Air quality has been GOOD across much of the state today, with many MODERATE impacts when averaged over the last 24 hours. A large swath of wildfire smoke moved across western Montana late yesterday evening and through this morning, and is now moving over eastern Montana this afternoon.. Cumulative smoke exposures reached MODERATE levels in Great Falls, Lewistown, Sidney, Billings, Helena, Bozeman, and Butte, with levels that are UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS in Seeley Lake. Despite the cumulative impacts, all hourly concentrations have been GOOD though, including the town of Choteau. Across far western Montana, hourly particulate concentrations have been variable in Frenchtown, but cumulative concentrations are at levels that are UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS. Missoula and Hamilton have seen the same level of cumulative smoke exposure, but hourly concentrations have improved throughout the day and are currently GOOD. A large area of rain and thunderstorms is moving across western Montana at this time.
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 4:45 this afternoon.  

This is the visible satellite image from 4:45 this afternoon.


 





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. Green represents thin smoke, yellow is moderate smoke, and purple is dense smoke. 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 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  Frenchtown B24
Missoula B24
Hamilton B24
Seeley Lake B24
  Moderate

 Helena B24
Butte B24
Bozeman B24
Great Falls B24
Lewistown B24
Billings B24
Sidney B24
 

  Good

 Libby
Flathead Valley
West Yellowstone
Malta
Birney
Broadus
 

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.