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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Saturday, August 11, 2012 7:00 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Air quality has improved across the state today. High atmospheric winds have helped to steer smoke out of the state. Idaho is still producing a lot of smoke this afternoon, but thanks to those high winds, that smoke is not impacting us like it was this past week. Temperatures have stayed cooler in the plains and relative humidities have been much higher. Those fires have not been much of a problem today, and smoke has not been very heavy. Across the west, however, temperatures have been hot again, and it is very dry. Recent thunderstorms have sparked new, small fires, which is creating some smoke. Also, there are several fires in eastern Idaho, just across the border from Ravalli County, which is also making some smoke.

A ridge of high pressure is building over the west, which means another period of hot, dry weather, with poor dispersion to keep skies hazy again. There will be very slight chances for late afternoon thunderstorms for the next couple of days. These conditions will last through Monday for western Montana, and Tuesday for eastern Montana. A large low pressure weather system is forecasted to start moving across the state on Tuesday. Rain, thunderstorms, and wind will start to sweep across western Montana on Tuesday. While this is happening, eastern Montana will get very hot and very dry ahead of the strong cold front. By Wednesday, we will enter into a cool period where fire and smoke concerns will take a break for a short while.
Air quality has improved across the state today. High atmospheric winds have helped to steer smoke out of the state, while also keeping heavy smoke produced in Idaho this afternoon away as well. The next few days may bring additional haze and smoke, but we are looking forward to the middle of next week when the weather finally cools down, and fire concerns ease.
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 6:15 this evening. There is some smoke coming into the Bitterroot Valley from eastern Idaho, but southern Idaho is covered in smoke in this image! 

This is the visible satellite image from 6:15 this evening. There is some smoke coming into the Bitterroot Valley from eastern Idaho, but southern Idaho is covered in smoke in this image!


 





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

 Hamilton B24
Bozeman B24
Billings B24
Great Falls B24
 

  Good

 Libby
Flathead Valley
Frenchtown
Missoula
Seeley Lake
Helena
West Yellowstone
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.