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

Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Monday, September 3, 2012 9:35 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Smoke was in the air again today. Wildfires in Idaho affected air quality across the southern half of the state, from Missoula to Billings and to the southeastern border. Air quality only reached MODERATE in Missoula today, but the Bitterroot Valley was UNHEALTHY. Smoke from Idaho affected air quality in Butte and Bozeman, but nearby fires in Montana also affected air quality in those two places. Butte is UNHEALTHY and Bozeman is UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS. The Helena Valley had clear air until this evening, when smoke came over the Divide and created MODERATE conditions. What is probably more impressive is that smoke from Idaho was mostly responsible for air quality that is UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS in Billings. Air quality has improved in Great Falls throughout the day, downgrading from UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS to MODERATE. For a few hours late yesterday evening, nearby fires to the west of Great Falls produced enough smoke to cause significant air quality impacts. However, hourly particulate concentrations have been GOOD all day there. Across the northern half of the state, visibility is great and air quality is GOOD almost everywhere. Atmospheric winds that were blowing straight out of the west today kept smoke to the southern half of the state, and kept the northern half clear.
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 from 5:45 this evening. For yet another day, smoke plumes from Idaho are huge and are blowing over Montana.  

This is the visible satellite from 5:45 this evening. For yet another day, smoke plumes from Idaho are huge and are blowing over Montana.


 





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  Hamilton B24
Butte B24
  Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups  Bozeman B24
Billings B24
  Moderate

 Great Falls B24
Helena B24, B1
Missoula B24, B8
 

  Good

 Libby
Flathead Valley
Seeley Lake
Frenchtown
Sidney
West Yellowstone
 

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.