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Wildfire Smoke Update
for
Friday, July 20, 2018 2:22 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions


Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Like yesterday, the state continues to experience hazy skies and periods of MODERATE air quality persisting over western Montana. The Reynolds Lake fire southwest of Darby has grown to 1,068 acres and is 0% contained. Additional smoke continues to drift over from the active fires in southern Washington and Oregon. Currently, satellite imagery and ground level particulate monitors show smoke impacts in Idaho’s panhandle.

The high pressure ridge is persisting over the state, continuing the warm, dry, and hazy conditions present from yesterday. West winds are expected to pick up this afternoon, which will likely kick up fire activity and also help spread smoke this way. Red flag fire warnings from the National Weather Service are in place for central Washington and north-central Montana, as the windy and dry conditions create optimal fire opportunities.

A dry cold front is expected by Saturday. Increased winds and no precipitation will be favorable for active fires or the possibility of new starts. Slightly cooler temperatures are likely on Sunday before more zonal flow returns Monday, keeping Montana downwind of the fires in Washington. Much like yesterday, air quality in western Montana will likely range from MODERATE to UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS in the immediate future, due to the Reynolds Lake fire and the active fires further to the west. Elsewhere should see GOOD to MODERATE air quality. As usual, conditions could change quickly with any additional fires.
Much like yesterday, air quality is generally GOOD with a gradual trend towards MODERATE through the day. With the new fire in Montana, the continued fire activity at locations to the west, and the hot, dry, red-flag conditions around the area, expect smoke impacts ranging from MODERATE to UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS through the weekend.
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




Skies are slightly hazy near Eureka today. 

Skies are slightly hazy near Eureka today.
Source: Weather Underground

 
Visible smoke is present in southern Washington and the Idaho panhandle today.

Visible smoke is present in southern Washington and the Idaho panhandle today.
Source: CIRA and NOAA. These data are preliminary and not operational.

Current fire activity around Montana today.

Current fire activity around Montana today.

Source: USFS 

Yesterday's smoke analysis shows more widespread smoke in the region.

Yesterday's smoke analysis shows more widespread smoke in the region.
Source: NOAA

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  
  Moderate

 Libby
Thompson Falls
Frenchtown
Missoula
Hamilton
Broadus
 

  Good

 All other reporting locations. 

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.