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Wildfire Smoke Update
Thursday, August 29, 2013 8:43 AM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions

Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
In a pleasant turn of events, air quality is actually GOOD across most of the state this morning. Yesterday’s wide band of rain and storms helped to disperse a lot of smoke that was in the western valleys and high in the atmosphere. Fire activity was also relatively slow yesterday evening, so less smoke was produced overall. Cumulative particulate concentrations are MODERATE in Frenchtown and Hamilton, but all hourly concentrations are GOOD. Air quality is even GOOD in Lolo and Missoula this morning. There may still be pockets of lingering smoke along the Rocky Mountain Front as observed air quality in Choteau is still UNHEALTHY this morning, with GOOD air quality in Augusta and Great Falls. All other reporting locations are GOOD this morning as well.

Air quality will remain generally GOOD across the state throughout the day. The weather will be unstable again with a passing disturbance. This will trigger rain showers and thunderstorms yet again early this afternoon through the evening. Air quality may be GOOD to MODERATE in the Missoula and Bitterroot Valleys, and MODERATE to UNHEALTHY off the Rocky Mountain Front, downwind of the fires in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Winds will become breezy this afternoon, especially in the vicinity of any thunderstorms and temperatures will be above seasonal averages once again.
There will be another update 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.

Air Quality Bureau
Montana Department of Environmental Quality
Phone: (406) 444-3490
Email: DEQ-ARMB-Admin@mt.gov

Morning satellite photo centered on Great Falls 



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
  Very Unhealthy  
  Unhealthy  Choteau
  Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups  

 Frenchtown B24
Hamilton B24


Flathead Valley
Seeley Lake
West Yellowstone
Great Falls

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.