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Wildfire Smoke Update
Friday, October 9, 2020 4:56 PM

Satellite Photos | Locations and Smoke Conditions

Today's Report and Forecast Today's Summary
Current Conditions
Widespread haze due to wildfires to our west has been visible across much of the state today, in combination with localized impacts due to nearby wildfires. Much of the state has been at persistent MODERATE levels, with Malta, Havre and Butte reaching UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS, and Broadus reaching UNHEALTHY levels.

Fortunately, the smoke should not be long lived as winds are currently picking up, which will help with dispersion. These winds are in front of a cold front arriving in the state by tomorrow afternoon. Behind the cold front, a low pressure system pushes its way through, bringing with it precipitation and more wind. There may be snow at lower elevations as well. This should all help with dispersion, to clear out smoke, and to tamper down wildfire activity, bringing PM2.5 levels back to the GOOD category.
Widespread haze has impacted the state today, but improvements should be seen by tomorrow due to active weather and precipitation in the 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

Smoke visible in the satellite analysis: 

Smoke visible in the satellite analysis:
Source: NOAA

Still many active fires in Montana and to the west:

Still many active fires in Montana and to the west:
Source: DNRC

Smoke can be seen on today’s satellite image:

Smoke can be seen on today’s satellite image:

Source: NASA 

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
  Very Unhealthy  
  Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups  Broadus

 Frenchtown, Missoula, Seeley Lake, Hamilton, Helena, Butte, Dillon, Bozeman, Billings, Birney 


 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.