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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Tuesday, October 9, 2012 4:00 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Air quality has improved in the last few hours in Hamilton. Cumulative smoke exposures are still UNHEALTHY but hourly concentrations have been GOOD for the last two observed hours. Likewise in Missoula and Frenchtown, cumulative particulate concentrations are UNHEALTHY, but hourly concentrations have been GOOD almost all day. Air quality is GOOD in all other locations this afternoon.

A ridge of high pressure will start to build in on Wednesday. Atmospheric winds will be light from the northwest during the day. Any wildfire smoke should generally stay in the Bitterroot Valley. Late Wednesday night into early Thursday, a weather disturbance will drop across central Montana from the north, bringing light and isolated areas of rain and/or snow. Almost all of the precipitation will be gone by late morning and the ridge of high pressure will build back in to clear the skies. Temperatures will warm up through Friday, but we may be looking at more active weather by the weekend, especially across northwestern Montana. Odds are increasing that by the end of this weekend and beginning of next week, we may start to see some weather systems that will bring rain and/or snow to parts of Idaho, where moisture is needed to put out the wildfires.
Cumulative smoke exposures are still UNHEALTHY but hourly concentrations have been GOOD for the last two observed hours. Likewise in Missoula and Frenchtown, cumulative particulate concentrations are UNHEALTHY, but hourly concentrations have been GOOD almost all day. Air quality is GOOD in all other locations this afternoon.
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 2:45 this afternoon. Light smoke is visible from eastern Idaho and over into the Bitterroot Valley. 

This is the visible satellite image from 2:45 this afternoon. Light smoke is visible from eastern Idaho and over into the Bitterroot Valley.


 
This is a high-definition, colored satellite image from 12:30 this afternoon across the Idaho panhandle and western Montana. Wildfire smoke is visible in the valleys of eastern Idaho. Clouds are obscuring the view of the wildfire smoke in the Bitterroot Valley in the center of this image.

This is a high-definition, colored satellite image from 12:30 this afternoon across the Idaho panhandle and western Montana. Wildfire smoke is visible in the valleys of eastern Idaho. Clouds are obscuring the view of the wildfire smoke in the Bitterroot Valley in the center of this image.


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 purple 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  Missoula B24
Frenchtown B24
-Hourly concentrations have been GOOD-

Hamilton B24, B8
  Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups  
  Moderate

 Seeley Lake B24 

  Good

 Libby
Flathead Valley
Helena
Butte
Bozeman
West Yellowstone
Dillon
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.