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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Thursday, August 16, 2012 12:55 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Air quality is still GOOD across the state today. Temperatures were very cool overnight, and the recent weather has helped to reduce fire activity and smoke production in the state. Heavy smoke was still being produced in other states, even as close as eastern Idaho, but high atmospheric winds helped to steer smoke away from Montana yesterday. These winds will gradually start turning so that southwestern Montana and the Bitterroot Valley might start to see smoke again, depending on fire activity. Parts of extreme southwestern Beaverhead County are already starting to see a little bit of smoke. This change in those high atmospheric winds will also usher in some warmer temperatures. Most of the state will be back into the 90s by the weekend. The weather will be hot and dry again for the next few days, with chances for isolated thunderstorms in the late afternoons, especially by Sunday. It looks like there might be another chance for a mid-week cool down next week, although it should not get as cold as it did this Wednesday. It may just be a small break in the fire activity and smoke production. Air quality is GOOD across the state today. Fire activity has been low in Montana for the past 24 hours; however, fires were still burning strong and producing much smoke in Idaho yesterday. Thankfully, high atmospheric winds were steering smoke away from Montana. Starting today, those winds are going to start shifting slowly around so that southwestern Montana and the Bitterroot Valley will start to see more smoke impacts again. We are already seeing some smoke in extreme southwestern Beaverhead County this afternoon. Elsewhere, just a light haze is in the sky, but there are no real air quality concerns.
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 12:30 this afternoon. Skies are almost completely clear across the state as an area of high pressure is sitting right over the center of the state. 

This is the visible satellite image from 12:30 this afternoon. Skies are almost completely clear across the state as an area of high pressure is sitting right over the center of the state.


 





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.