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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Friday, October 12, 2012 10:35 AM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Wildfire smoke is still in parts of western Montana this morning. Cumulative smoke exposures in the Bitterroot Valley are UNHEALTHY and hourly concentrations are UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS. Cumulative particulate concentrations have reached levels that are UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS in Frenchtown and Seeley Lake, and cumulative levels are MODERATE in Missoula and Butte. Air quality is GOOD in all other locations.

Breezy west winds and the chance for increased wildfire activity over Idaho may generate more smoke what will blow over Montana. The Bitterroot Valley will continue to see poor air quality, but smoke may also reach into Missoula, Helena, Butte, and all of the valleys in-between. Over the weekend, the atmosphere will become more unstable as weather disturbances start to come from the west. This will bring some rain and/or snow to parts of Idaho and western Montana through the weekend. This may be very good news to the still-active wildfires in Idaho. The moisture will continue for the first few days of next week, and by Tuesday and Wednesday, precipitation should spread into central and eastern parts of Montana along with a mid-week cold front. Air quality should improve everywhere through the next week.
Cumulative smoke exposures in the Bitterroot Valley are UNHEALTHY and hourly concentrations are UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS. Cumulative particulate concentrations have reached levels that are UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS in Frenchtown and Seeley Lake, and cumulative levels are MODERATE in Missoula and Butte. Air quality is GOOD in all other locations.
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 10:00 this morning.  

This is the visible satellite image from 10:00 this morning.


 





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  Frenchtown B24
Seeley Lake B24, B8
  Moderate

 Missoula B24, B8
Butte B24
 

  Good

 Libby
Flathead Valley
Helena
Bozeman
West Yellowstone
Billings
Great Falls
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.