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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 3:35 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Wildfire smoke has been visible across parts of western Montana today. Hourly concentrations have been GOOD in Seeley Lake, Helena, and Butte, but cumulative concentrations have recently become MODERATE. Air quality is MODERATE in Missoula and Frenchtown, and cumulative smoke exposures are still UNHEALTHY in Hamilton. At all other observing locations, air quality is GOOD.

The ridge of high pressure will remain on Friday, with clearer skies and warmer temperatures. Wildfire smoke will also stay around the area under the stable airmass. However, during the afternoon, the atmosphere will become a little unstable, so air quality at the ground may improve even if the smoke remains visible in the sky. Winds will also become stronger so as to help to blow the smoke away. Temperatures will be the warmest of the week on Friday. By Saturday, frequent weather disturbances will start to come from the west, which should bring rain and/or snow to parts of Idaho and western Montana. Multiple rounds of precipitation are expected in this area through early next week.
Hourly concentrations have been GOOD in Seeley Lake, Helena, and Butte, but cumulative concentrations have recently become MODERATE. Air quality is MODERATE in Missoula and Frenchtown, and cumulative smoke exposures are still UNHEALTHY in Hamilton. At all other observing locations, air quality is GOOD.
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 2:15 this afternoon. 

This is the visible satellite image from 2:15 this afternoon.


 
Wildfire smoke is back across parts of the region, even as far east as the Helena Valley.

Wildfire smoke is back across parts of the region, even as far east as the Helena Valley.


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  Hamilton B24, B8
  Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups  
  Moderate

 Helena B24
Butte B24, B8
Seeley Lake B24
Missoula B24, B8, B1
Frenchtown B24, B8, B1
 

  Good

 Libby
Flathead Valley
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.