Wildfire Smoke Updates Home | Archived Wildfire Smoke Updates | Today's Air

Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Friday, August 10, 2012 8:35 AM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
There is still quite a bit of smoke around the region this morning. Most areas in Montana saw a slight improvement in air quality late yesterday afternoon and overnight. It is still very smoky in parts of southeastern Montana where large fires continue to burn. Some of these towns include Colstrip, Forsyth, and Lame Deer, just to name a few. These areas are likely seeing smoke that is UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS.

Red Flag Warnings are across much of southern and central Montana, effective from this afternoon through tonight. Another weather disturbance will pass today, bringing a higher chance for thunderstorms and gusty winds. Temperatures will still be warm despite some cloud cover, and relative humidities will be low again. We are already seeing some gusty winds this morning across parts of central Montana. There is a large batch of rain and heavy thunderstorms across part of northeast Montana, currently near Fort Peck Lake, and moving east. Thunderstorms that develop in southwest and central Montana this afternoon have a higher chance of being dry thunderstorms, which could spark new fires. Very strong winds are expected from these storms, so current and future fire activity could become dangerous and smoky again very quickly. There will be another update this afternoon with smoke conditions, wildfire activity, and a weather update and forecast.
There is still quite a bit of smoke across the region this morning, although several locations saw a slight improvement in air quality after yesterday evening and overnight. We are expecting some active weather today, which may prove hazardous for current fires and may spark new fires. There will be an afternoon update to this page with the most current smoke information, significant wildfire activity, and a weather update and forecast.
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 current radar image across Montana this morning, showing the large band of rain and thunderstorms to the northeast. 

This is the current radar image across Montana this morning, showing the large band of rain and thunderstorms to the northeast.


 
This webcam near Bozeman shows just how much smoke is in the area this morning. On a clear day, the background of this image is filled with mountains.

This webcam near Bozeman shows just how much smoke is in the area this morning. On a clear day, the background of this image is filled with mountains.





 

This webcam at the Big Hole Pass in southwestern Montana is another example of how much smoke there is in the air.

This webcam at the Big Hole Pass in southwestern Montana is another example of how much smoke there is in the air.

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  West Yellowstone B24
Bozeman B24
Butte B24
Hamilton B24
  Moderate

 Helena B24
Billings B24, B8
Seeley Lake B24
Missoula B24
Frenchtown B24
Great Falls B24
 

  Good

 Sidney
Libby
Flathead Valley
 

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.