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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Sunday, September 1, 2013 12:24 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Observed air quality is GOOD around the state as of early this afternoon. Wildfire smoke from the Rim fire and from other fires in Idaho is starting to make its way into the southwestern section of the state. Particulate concentrations have risen slightly because of this smoke in Hamilton and Butte, and webcam images show hazy skies in this region. Elsewhere around the state, skies are clear and air quality is GOOD.

Wildfire smoke from central California and Idaho will continue to impact much of the state throughout the evening and overnight. The far western valleys, southwestern region, and central portion of the state will see the greatest impact from this wildfire smoke. Visibility will continue to decrease through sunset, especially in the southwest. Air quality impacts may become MODERATE across this southwestern region, including towns like Hamilton, Butte, Dillon, and Bozeman. Southwest winds, which brought the return of the wildfire smoke and hot temperatures will remain persistent throughout the week ahead. A weak disturbance will pass on Labor Day, generating few isolated thunderstorms over the southwestern mountains. Smoke will continue to impact much of the state with MODERATE impacts and impacts that are UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS in the Bitterroot Valley. The northern half of the state and far eastern side should remain generally GOOD. On Tuesday, a larger disturbance will impact the Northern Rockies, increasing our chances for afternoon thunderstorms. The air will remain hot and dry, so wildfire activity will pick up in the early afternoon hours and last through sunset. The atmosphere will remain generally unstable, hot, and dry throughout the week. High atmospheric winds will continue to push wildfire smoke from the southwest to the northeast.
Observed air quality is GOOD around the state as of early this afternoon. Wildfire smoke from the Rim fire and from other fires in Idaho is starting to make its way into the southwestern section of the state. Particulate concentrations have risen slightly because of this smoke in Hamilton and Butte, and webcam images show hazy skies in this region. Elsewhere around the state, skies are clear and air quality is GOOD.

The next smoke update will come tomorrow afternoon, September 2.
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 10:30 this morning. Skies are mostly clear across the state again today. Wildfire smoke is moderately heavy in the atmosphere over eastern Idaho, and some of that smoke is already pushing into far southwestern Montana. This smoke will continue to move to the northeast throughout the day. 

This is the visible satellite image from 10:30 this morning. Skies are mostly clear across the state again today. Wildfire smoke is moderately heavy in the atmosphere over eastern Idaho, and some of that smoke is already pushing into far southwestern Montana. This smoke will continue to move to the northeast throughout the day.


 
This webcam at Monida Pass shows hazy, milky skies on the horizon because of incoming wildfire smoke.

This webcam at Monida Pass shows hazy, milky skies on the horizon because of incoming wildfire smoke.


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  
  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.