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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Wednesday, August 8, 2012 3:05 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Air quality is about the same or just slightly worse across the state since this morning’s update. Smoke continues to pour into southwestern Montana, creating MODERATE to UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS conditions there. Heavy smoke and haze is hanging over most of the western half of the state, although most of this smoke is high in the air. Parts of southeastern Montana continue to be UNHEALTHY in towns near active fires.

Red Flag Warnings are in effect in southwestern and central Montana tonight for hot temperatures, low relative humidities, and a chance for thunderstorms. There are also Red Flag Warnings over parts of Idaho where fires are already burning. This area has seen weather conditions favorable for erratic fire behavior, which has been a huge contributor to the smoke we have seen today.

Tonight, a weak front will pass across the state, shifting the wind from the southeast to the northwest, and bringing a chance of thunderstorms. Temperatures will stay hot for the next few days and into the weekend, where the forecast will remain generally the same. Afternoon temperatures will get hot, relative humidities will drop, the plains will see some strong afternoon wind gusts, and there will be isolated chances for thunderstorms. The chance for thunderstorms will increase on Friday as a weak weather disturbance passes across the Northern Rockies.
Air quality continues to be MODERATE to UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS across much of southwestern Montana this afternoon. A smoky haze is visible across much of the western half of the state, but air quality remains generally GOOD to MODERATE at low elevations. Air quality is up to UNHEALTHY in locations immediately near fires in southeastern Montana. A weak front will move across the state today, bringing a wind shift and chance of thunderstorms.
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 2:30 this afternoon. Clouds are coming in from the west in association with a weak frontal passage tonight. 

This is the visible satellite image from 2:30 this afternoon. Clouds are coming in from the west in association with a weak frontal passage tonight.


 





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 




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 B24, B8
West Yellowstone B24
Butte B24
Frenchtown B24
 

  Good

 Libby
Flathead Valley
Missoula
Seeley Lake
Helena
Bozeman
Great Falls
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.