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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Sunday, August 12, 2012 3:50 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
There are still many large fires burning in Montana, especially in parts of the west-central mountains. E However, there are also many more small fires here and there around the state. For yet another day, fires in Idaho produced a lot of smoke yesterday, and there are other large, smoke-producing fires in Nevada, Oregon, and California, that are impacting Montana. Air quality impacts are highest across far western and southwestern Montana today. However, smoke impacts only sit at MODERATE, especially in the Bitterroot Valley, with only isolated pockets that are UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS. Eastern Montana is similar, where most places are GOOD to MODERATE, with some areas near active fires are UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS.

Fire Weather Watches are in effect for southwestern Montana for Monday for ideal fire weather conditions. Southwestern Montana should see more smoke, as parts of Idaho will also experience fire weather conditions. Smoke will continue to blow west. Monday will be hot and dry again state-wide, with some breezy winds late in the day. On Tuesday, a cold front will start to move west to east across the state, starting in the afternoon and through the night. Eastern Montana will be hot, dry, and breezy ahead of the cold front. Rain and thunderstorms will develop along the cold front throughout the day. Wednesday will be very cool and weather conditions will not be ideal for fire growth.
There is much smoke across the western US, and Montana has not been immune to it. Yesterday, smoke was produced from fires in Idaho that moved into parts of western and southwestern Montana. Also, there are many small, isolated fires across the state that are adding to the general haze.
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. Some light smoke is over southwestern Montana and in the valleys across the west and northwest. Fires in eastern Idaho just across the Montana border are producing smoke that is impacting this area, as well as regional smoke from other states. 

This is the visible satellite image from 2:30 this afternoon. Some light smoke is over southwestern Montana and in the valleys across the west and northwest. Fires in eastern Idaho just across the Montana border are producing smoke that is impacting this area, as well as regional smoke from other states.


 





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

 Libby B24
Frenchtown B24
Hamilton B24
West Yellowstone B1
 

  Good

 Flathead Valley
Missoula
Seeley Lake
Helena
Butte
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.