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Wildfire Smoke Update
Friday, September 21, 2012 9:23 AM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions

Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Air quality is still poor across western Montana this morning. Cumulative smoke exposure has become UNHEALTHY in Frenchtown, Missoula, Seeley Lake, Helena, Butte, Bozeman, and West Yellowstone. Hourly concentrations at all of these locations range from GOOD to UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS. Air quality is VERY UNHEALTHY in Hamilton and throughout the Bitterroot Valley. Cumulative smoke exposure has become UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS in the Flathead Valley, and MODERATE in Libby and Great Falls. Air quality in eastern Montana should be GOOD.

There will be little to no significant improvement in the air quality across western Montana today. The weather pattern will stay the same, where a strong, stable ridge of high pressure is sitting over the western US. This stagnant air has kept and will continue to keep smoke in the western valleys. Winds will stay very light and variable across the west, and somewhat breezy from the northwest in eastern Montana.

There will be another update this afternoon with the latest fire activity, smoke conditions, and a full forecast.
See "Today's Report and Forecast" (left). There will be another update this afternoon with the latest fire activity, smoke conditions, and a full forecast.
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




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
  Very Unhealthy  Hamilton B24, B8
  Unhealthy  Missoula B24
Frenchtown B24
Seeley Lake B24, B8
Helena B24
Butte B24
Bozeman B24
West Yellowstone B24, B8
  Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups  Flathead Valley B24
Dillon B24

 Libby B24
Great Falls B24



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.