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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 12:47 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Air quality is GOOD across Montana again today. Concentrations have been creeping up in a few locations due to the high pressure that Montana has been under for the past several days. The ridge of high pressure has brought calmer winds than we saw last week. This, along with the lack of precipitation, has led to the small build-up of pollution from a wide variety of sources.

Fire activity in Montana has remained low. The Lost Horse fire southwest of Hamilton is up to 55 acres but has yet to significantly impact air quality in Hamilton. Another fire in Treasure County is now 100% contained after burning 780 acres in that location. Smoke from that fire may have led to elevated smoke impacts in Birney, MT this morning, however, concentrations have returned to GOOD this afternoon.

Concentrations are expected to remain GOOD in most locations across the state today. Some locations may see MODERATE cumulative impacts due to the slow buildup of pollutants. Scattered showers and thunderstorms in western Montana over the next couple days may help clear the air.
Air quality is GOOD across the state this morning. Some areas may see MODERATE levels over the next day or so as pollution builds up under the high pressure system. Areas downwind of fires may see elevated smoke impacts.
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




There are clear skies across Montana and some unsettled weather to our south. 

There are clear skies across Montana and some unsettled weather to our south.
Source: NWS

 
Air quality looks good in Hamilton today.

Air quality looks good in Hamilton today.
Source: Weather Underground

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

 Birney - 24 hour (recent concentrations have been decreasing) 

  Good

 All other 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.