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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Tuesday, July 10, 2012 1:30 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Clouds have come into the state today thanks to a weak low pressure system. Smoke has also come into many areas of southwestern Montana today thanks to large wildfires in southeastern Oregon and northern Nevada. Air quality from these fires, as well as our own, has been impacted. Current one-hour average particulate concentrations at reporting sites are all GOOD, but many are nearing MODERATE 24-hour average concentrations, and Hamilton is already there. This is also due to a small wildfire in the southern tip of Ravalli County.

Winds are starting to pick up today with the weather system, and storms are starting to show up. Areas near these storms should also expect temporary gusty winds. Red Flag Warnings are in effect through tonight for many southwestern counties, mostly due to these thunderstorms and lightning, but also for some wind and low relative humidity. After today, winds will return to lighter speeds. We stay under the strong ridge of high pressure with continued hot temperatures and low relative humidities in the afternoon. The upper-level wind direction will be from the southwest for the next few days, so the fires in Oregon, Nevada, and Idaho will continue to blow some smoke and haze our way, so long as the fires continue to burn intensely and produce much smoke.
Smoke is blowing into southwestern Montana from fires in Oregon, Nevada, and Idaho. We also have some smoke hanging around the state from our own fires. Air quality at most reporting sites is GOOD, despite some smoke impacts. However, your long-term exposure (24-hour average particulate concentration) of smoke is creeping up to MODERATE across the southwest. Some winds and thunderstorms today have prompted Red Flag Warnings through tonight.
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: DEQMTSmoke@mt.gov




This is a visible satellite image from 12:45 this afternoon. Clouds are moving across the state from a weak low pressure system, but storms are also starting to fire up. Moderate smoke is covering parts of southwestern Montana and Idaho, but it is very hard to tell in a single, still image. 

This is a visible satellite image from 12:45 this afternoon. Clouds are moving across the state from a weak low pressure system, but storms are also starting to fire up. Moderate smoke is covering parts of southwestern Montana and Idaho, but it is very hard to tell in a single, still image.


 
This morning’s analysis from NOAA’s satellite services division shows active fires and smoke plumes across the northwest US. This image is based on this morning's satellite analysis.

This morning’s analysis from NOAA’s satellite services division shows active fires and smoke plumes across the northwest US. This image is based on this morning's satellite analysis.
Red indicates hot spot detected. Green represents light smoke, yellow is moderately dense smoke, and pink 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

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 light smoke, yellow is moderately dense smoke, and pink 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 

This webcam in the Helena Valley looks north to the Sleeping Giant. The Giant itself is hardly visible as clouds and smoke are around the area.

This webcam in the Helena Valley looks north to the Sleeping Giant. The Giant itself is hardly visible as clouds and smoke are around the area.

Real time particulate information is currently available in most of the larger urban areas from MTDEQ's Today's Air website.

Today's particulate report below compares particulate levels received from DEQ's
reporting stations with MTDEQ’s Health Effect Categories.

Locations and severity of PM 2.5 particulate values over the past 24 hours from the time above.
Health Effects Categories City
  Hazardous  
  Very Unhealthy  
  Unhealthy  
  Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups  
  Moderate

 Hamilton (24-hr)
Frenchtown (24-hr)
 

  Good

 Libby
Flathead Valley
Missoula
Seeley Lake
Helena
Butte
Bozeman
Great Falls
West Yellowstone
Billings
Sidney
 

B1(x) One-hour BAM value (number of values)
B8(x) Eight-hour average BAM
B24 24 hour  average BAM value
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.