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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Monday, October 1, 2012 8:40 AM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
The ridge of high pressure is still over us today. Wildfire activity was minimal over the weekend, which is partly why the air quality has improved so much. Hourly particulate concentrations have improved to GOOD at all monitoring locations this morning. However, cumulative smoke exposures are still MODERATE in Seeley Lake, Missoula, Frenchtown, Helena, and Butte, and UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS in Hamilton.

Red Flag Warnings, Fire Weather Watches, and High Winds Warnings are in effect for various locations across the state, today through Tuesday. Winds will increase this afternoon as a low pressure system approaches the Northern Rockies. The air quality today will be dependent on the amount of fire activity across Idaho and western Montana. However, since we are expecting high fire danger today, we may see additional wildfire smoke. Some of the Red Flag Warnings are in areas where active fires are burning, in and around the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Winds will blow this smoke in a region from Great Falls to Helena. The Sawtooth Fire may also produce more smoke in the Bitterroot Valley. Temperatures will be very warm today, as today may be the last warm day we see in a while.

There will be another update this afternoon with the latest fire activity, smoke conditions, and a full forecast.
Please 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




 




 
These are the watches and warnings from the National Weather Service across Montana today.

These are the watches and warnings from the National Weather Service across Montana today.





 




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, B8
  Moderate

 Seeley Lake B24
Missoula B24, B8
Frenchtown B24
Helena B24
Butte B24, B8
 

  Good

 Libby
Flathead Valley
Bozeman
Dillon
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.