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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Friday, July 27, 2012 3:10 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Air quality is GOOD at reporting sites across the state today. Fires in parts of eastern Montana were burning yesterday, producing some smoke (see NOAA smoke analysis below). However, thanks to some breezy wind, as well as good mixing from pop-up thunderstorms and a band of rain this morning, smoke impacts across a broad area have been minimal. Just as the band of rain that was over west-central Montana this morning is moving off to the northeast, now more pop-up thunderstorms are developing across Idaho, moving into southwest Montana. These storms will produce lightning and some wind. The forecast for the next few days still looks persistent. Temperatures will get hot during the day, decreasing relative humidities, and there is a daily chance for afternoon thunderstorms. Winds may also become breezy in the afternoons. This weather has proven to be dangerous for fires, especially since most of the current fires were caused by lighting. Air quality is GOOD at reporting sites today. Smoke impacts from fires across eastern Montana have been minimal over a broad area, though locally, air quality has been upwards of UNHEALTHY at times. A band of weak rain showers has been moving northeast across the state today, mixing the air well and clearing some of the smoke out. More thunderstorms are developing and moving into southwest Montana this afternoon as well.
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 the visible satellite image from 2:15 this afternoon. The swath of clouds across eastern and north-central Montana was across southwestern Montana this morning. Now, new thunderstorms are developing in Idaho and moving into southwestern Montana. 

This is the visible satellite image from 2:15 this afternoon. The swath of clouds across eastern and north-central Montana was across southwestern Montana this morning. Now, new thunderstorms are developing in Idaho and moving into southwestern Montana.


 





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 thin smoke, yellow is moderate 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 




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

  

  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
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.