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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Saturday, August 18, 2012 6:25 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Air quality is mostly GGOOD across the state this afternoon. There is a very large area of very heavy smoke over central and southern Idaho, but high atmospheric winds are keeping much of the smoke contained in Idaho at this time. Parts of extreme southwestern Montana and the southern Bitterroot Valley are seeing some of that heavy smoke, which is MODERATE to UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS. Other fires in Montana that are creating some isolated air quality impacts are in the Mission Valley, near the Swan Valley, and in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Smoke from those western fires is more elevated, so smoke is not affecting many locations near the ground. The Mission Valley fire is creating MODERATE to UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS smoke impacts there. Hot, dry conditions will continue through Tuesday, so fires will stay active and continue to produce smoke in similar locations. Isolated thunderstorms are possible tomorrow afternoon, with additional wind and lightning. Late afternoon thunderstorms will be possible Monday and Tuesday, ahead of a quick weather system on Wednesday. A cold front will pass, cooling temperatures 5-10 degrees. Thunderstorms and wind will be possible again. Temperatures heat back up for the end of the week.
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 5:00 this evening. There is a noticeable color difference between Idaho and Montana in this image, and that is because Idaho is covered in its own smoke. You can also see two small smoke plumes from the fires near the Swan Valley and in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. 

This is the visible satellite image from 5:00 this evening. There is a noticeable color difference between Idaho and Montana in this image, and that is because Idaho is covered in its own smoke. You can also see two small smoke plumes from the fires near the Swan Valley and in the Bob Marshall Wilderness.


 





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  Hamilton B24
  Moderate

 Frenchtown B24 

  Good

 Libby
Flathead Valley
Missoula
Seeley Lake
Helena
Butte
Bozeman
West Yellowstone
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.