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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Friday, September 26, 2014 9:50 AM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Air quality is currently GOOD at all locations this morning. Smoke finally cleared from the Bitterroot Valley and the Missoula area last night. However, the skies are quite hazy in Great Falls, Helena, and Butte and hourly concentrations have been elevated the last few hours.

A cold front is currently making its way across the state. As the front moves eastward, the smoke is being pushed along with it. The elevated concentrations in Great Falls, Helena, and Butte should decrease by early afternoon. Precipitation is expected to be scattered across western Montana today with more widespread precipitation expected this weekend.

As the smoke moves across the state, air quality may briefly reach MODERATE levels. Concentrations should improve in all areas due to the cold temperatures and precipitation expected this weekend.
Air quality is currently GOOD at all locations. Smoke is currently moving across the state along a cold front, leading to hazy skies and a smoky odor in Great Falls, Helena, and Butte. This smoke should continue to move eastward throughout the day, possibly leading to brief periods of MODERATE conditions. Air quality should improve at all locations by this evening.
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




A cold front is currently moving across the state, pushing the smoke from Idaho wildfires eastward. The clouds in the satellite image below show Great Falls, Helena, and Butte on the leading edge of the cloud cover, there the highest concentrations currently are. 

A cold front is currently moving across the state, pushing the smoke from Idaho wildfires eastward. The clouds in the satellite image below show Great Falls, Helena, and Butte on the leading edge of the cloud cover, there the highest concentrations currently are.
Source: NWS

 
Precipitation is moving into Butte this morning. Air quality here should improve throughout the day.

Precipitation is moving into Butte this morning. Air quality here should improve throughout the day.
Source: KTVQ

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. Grey represents smoke seen by satellite. 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 sites. 

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.