Wildfire Smoke Updates Home | Archived Wildfire Smoke Updates

Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Thursday, August 21, 2014 10:10 AM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Air quality is GOOD at most locations across the state this morning. The one exception is in southeast Montana where 24-hour, cumulative concentrations were MODERATE in Broadus and Birney yesterday and remain MODERATE this morning. This is likely due to some lingering smoke from yesterday that is pushing its way east.

Scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected today across almost all of Montana as a low pressure system slowly moves into the Pacific Northwest. The showers are expected to become more widespread tomorrow and will persist through the weekend as the low pressure system moves over Montana. Throughout this event temperatures will be significantly below normal and winds will be quite gusty. Most locations are expected to see at least an inch of rain fall between now and Saturday, with amounts up to two inches forecasted in the mountains.

What does this all mean for smoke impacts? With the cool temperatures and significant precipitation, fire activity will likely diminish and smoke production will be low. Precipitation will flush out any smoke that does get into the air. Overall, air quality is expected to remain GOOD at all locations throughout the weekend. Air quality in southeast Montana should clear up later today as rain moves in.
Air quality is currently GOOD at all locations except in southeast Montana, where cumulative concentrations are lingering at MODERATE levels. Cool, wet weather is expected to impact the area beginning today and lasting through the weekend. Air quality should remain GOOD at all locations throughout this period.
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




Widespread cloud cover is present over Montana this morning. These clouds are masking the smoke in southeast Montana, making it difficult to assess the full impacts. 

Widespread cloud cover is present over Montana this morning. These clouds are masking the smoke in southeast Montana, making it difficult to assess the full impacts.
Source: UCAR

 
Conditions are cloudy in Broadus this morning but air quality looks good.

Conditions are cloudy in Broadus this morning but air quality looks good.
Source: Range Web

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
Broadus
 

  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.