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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Sunday, August 5, 2012 5:45 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Despite the smoke seen high in the air across much of western Montana this afternoon, smoke monitoring sites show that air quality is GOOD. However, far southwestern Montana (like Beaverhead County) is believed to see at least MODERATE smoke impacts this afternoon. This smoke is from fires in Idaho that burned heavily yesterday, and continue to burn today. Eastern Montana has more smoke impacts because fires in southeastern Montana have burned rapidly in the last two days. Air quality in the southeastern region of the state is at least MODERATE, with UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS and even UNHEALTHY near the active fires, in towns like Rosebud, Hardin, and Lame Deer.

Fire Weather Watches have been issued for much of western and southern Montana, along with Red Flag Warnings covering much of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Nevada. We are stuck in a hot, dry weather pattern for at least the next week. However, on Monday, we will see a weather disturbance pass, which has prompted our Fire Weather Watches. The disturbance will bring gusty winds and a chance of thunderstorms. Dispersion will be good for the time of the weather disturbance, but the wind may continue to fan the fires, and lightning may spark new ones.
Air quality is GOOD at reporting sites in western Montana, despite the presence of some high-level smoke from Idaho. Far southwestern Montana is MODERATE, as well as parts of eastern Montana. There are huge fires in southeastern Montana which are creating up to UNHEALTHY conditions in nearby towns. Fire Weather Watches have been issued for much of Montana in anticipation of a weather disturbance tomorrow which will bring wind and thunderstorms. The rest of the week will be hot and dry.
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 around 2:30 this afternoon. 

This is the visible satellite image from around 2:30 this afternoon.


 





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.