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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Wednesday, September 2, 2015 10:08 AM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Air quality in Hamilton is currently UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS .

Air quality in Frenchtown, Missoula, Helena and Great Falls is currently MODERATE.

Air quality in Libby, Flathead, St. Mary, Seeley Lake, Butte, Bozeman, West Yellowstone, Billings, Lewistown, Birney, Broadus, Malta and Sidney is currently GOOD.

When air quality is UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS, state and local health officials recommend that people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should limit prolonged exertion.

A southwest flow is in place for most of the day today, keeping the region warm and dry. Red flag warnings are in place for parts of central and southwest Montana Wednesday afternoon and evening due to the combination of low relative humidity and breezy winds. These winds do have the potential to increase fire behavior; however we are expecting changes Thursday – Saturday, when a cooler, more unsettled weather pattern is forecast to develop.

The winds associated with the frontal passage will interact with daytime heating to help winds aloft mix to the surface. This will create good to excellent dispersion, hopefully helping any smoke present to lift out of valleys. However, fire activity in Washington, Idaho and Montana continues and smoke will be an issue, yet the upper air disturbance moving through the area will help lessen the smoke impacts.
Smoke impacts are still lingering in the Bitterroot Valley and are slightly present around Missoula, Helena and Great Falls. The remainder of the state is seeing GOOD conditions and is likely to continue experiencing GOOD air quality with the development of more unsettled conditions Thursday through Saturday. Sunday through Monday is likely to see the state returning to dryer weather yet cooler temperatures.

Air quality impacts ranging from GOOD to UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS will be seen throughout the state today.

Air quality in Hamilton is currently UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS .

Air quality in Frenchtown, Missoula, Helena and Great Falls is currently MODERATE.

Air quality in Libby, Flathead, St. Mary, Seeley Lake, Butte, Bozeman, West Yellowstone, Billings, Lewistown, Birney, Broadus, Malta and Sidney is currently GOOD.

When air quality is UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS, state and local health officials recommend that people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should limit prolonged exertion.
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




Clear skies in Lewistown this morning: 

Clear skies in Lewistown this morning:
Source: Big Spring Realty

 
Cloudy conditions through NW Montana and Central to Southwest Montana:

Cloudy conditions through NW Montana and Central to Southwest Montana:
Source: NOAA

Montana Department of Transportation Two Medicine Bridge US2:

Montana Department of Transportation Two Medicine Bridge US2:

Source: MDT 

Smoke is not being detected on NOAA’s hazard mapping system fire and smoke product:

Smoke is not being detected on NOAA’s hazard mapping system fire and smoke product:
Source: HMS

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  Hamilton
  Moderate

 Frenchtown
Missoula
Helena
Great Falls
 

  Good

 Libby
Flathead
St. Mary
Seeley Lake
Butte
Bozeman
West Yellowstone Billings
Lewistown
Birney
Broadus
Malta
Sidney
 

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.