Idaho Smoke Map

Idaho Smoke Map Legend

**(Preliminary Data Warning: Data found on the map shown below is preliminary and is subject to change. Data is in local standard time format - no adjustment for daylight savings time. The map is not able to display the temporary monitors. Check the AIR QUALITY NOW tab below for links for these monitors.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

08/04/2015 Idaho DEQ Smoke Forecast

Updated 1000am MDT Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Valid through Noon MDT Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Smoke Outlook

Air quality is forecast to remain in the Moderate to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups air quality category across the northern Panhandle with short term readings in the Clearwater drainages and across the Idaho Panhandle.  Impacts are from regional fire burning in primarily in Washington State.  The Air Quality Forecast and Caution for Boundary, Bonner, Kootenai, Shoshone, and Benewah counties has been lifted.

Today will be a slightly calmer day-but still active- as one upper level low moves out of our area and another moves in.  Temperatures will be near normal and a slight possibility of afternoon thunderstorms in all airsheds in southern Idaho exists with the highest threat over the Southern Magic Valley and southeast Idaho.  Surface wind speeds will be between 5-15 mph.  The biggest concern today will be gusty conditions near storms with gusts up to 40-50 mph across southern Idaho.  There is a Red Flag Warning for much of southwest Idaho today for high winds and lightning.  Surface wind direction will be from the northwest in the Treasure Valley with west-southwest winds across the remainder of southern Idaho with a late turn from east to southwest in the Magic Valley.  Mixing heights will range from 5,000-9,000 feet AGL.  Transport wind speed will be between 5-20 mph and be generally from the west-southwest except across the Treasure Valley where northwest wind directions will occur.

The upper level low currently off the coast of BC will continue to track towards northern Idaho and will account for locally breezy surface and transport winds.  This system will promote dry conditions through the day today.  Isolated thunderstorms are possible along the Canada/Idaho border late today.  Surface wind speeds will range from 10-20 mph and be from the west-southwest with west-northwest winds across the Camas Prairie and Palouse.  Mixing heights are expected to from 7,500-10,000 feet AGL over all air sheds.  Skies will be mostly to partly sunny this afternoon.  The wind aloft over northern Idaho this afternoon will be from the southwest and will range from 15-25 mph except across central Idaho where winds will be from the west-northwest at 10-15mph. 

The strongest smoke impacts are occurring across the Idaho Panhandle with light impacts through the Hells Canyon and Clearwater drainages.  This will continue into the afternoon as cloud cover and higher moisture levels associated with the upper level low pressure system persist into Wednesday.  Given the current location of the upper level low, expect impacts from fires burning in central Washington to affect most of the Columbia Plateau with a small chance to impact the Palouse and Clearwater airsheds.  Fires along the Idaho/Washington border will continue to affect the northern Panhandle today roughly from I-90 and north.  By Wednesday, this system may allow for decreased fire behavior and atmospheric scouring of particulates. Light impacts should be expected as far south as the Lower Treasure Valley, including a swath running southwest to northeast through McCall and the Central Idaho Mountains into Salmon.
View DEQ near-real time monitoring at:  http://airquality.deq.idaho.gov/

Smoke forecasts are dependent on predicted fire growth and weather.  If conditions change unexpectedly, impacts could occur.  When visibility starts to go below 5 miles, sensitive groups should minimize outdoor activities.  Everyone else should minimize prolonged or physical activity outdoors.  Visit the Idaho Smoke Blog for more information at http://idsmoke.blogspot.com/

Your eyes are your best tools to determine if it’s safe to be outside. Even if you smell smoke, the air quality may still be good.

AQI Category
Visibility (miles)
Good
11+
Moderate
6-10
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
3-5
Unhealthy
1½  -2¾
Very Unhealthy
1-1¼ 
Hazardous
Less than 1









How to estimate air quality based on visibility for areas without an air quality monitor or airport visibility estimate:
a. Face away from the sun.
b. Determine the limit of your visible range by looking for targets at known distances (miles).
c. Visible range is when an object you can easily see in the distance disappears.
d. Use the visibility values above to determine the local wildfire smoke category.

Monday, August 3, 2015

08/03/2015 Idaho DEQ Smoke Forecast

Updated 1030am MDT Monday, August 03, 2015

Valid through Noon MDT Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Smoke Outlook

Air quality is forecast to remain in the Moderate to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups air quality category across the northern Panhandle with short term readings in the Clearwater drainages and across the Idaho Panhandle.  Impacts are from regional fire burning in primarily in Washington State.  Due to wildfire smoke, an Air Quality Forecast and Caution has been issued for Boundary, Bonner, Kootenai, Shoshone, and Benewah counties.

Both northern and southern Idaho will be under the influence of two separate upper level low pressure systems today.  The southern system will provide ample opportunity for afternoon thunderstorms across much of the southern airsheds before moving to the northeast this evening.  Surface wind speeds will be between 5-20 mph with gusts up to 35 mph east of Twin Falls to Pocatello.  Surface wind direction will be from the northwest in the Treasure Valley with south-southwest winds across the remainder of southern Idaho this afternoon.  Skies will be mostly cloudy across southern Idaho with partly to mostly cloudy across the Southwest SMA.  Mixing heights will range from 4,000-8,000 feet AGL.  Transport wind speed will be between 5-25 mph and be generally from the south-southwest.  Limited to no smoke impacts are expected across southern Idaho from west to east, respectively.

The northern upper level low pressure system will not generate much in terms of unsettled weather today, instead, bringing increased chance for thunderstorms and precipitation on Tuesday.  This northern system, while not generating much in terms of storms today, will allow for breezy transport and surface winds this afternoon and will continue to support low RH values. Surface wind speeds will range from 5-15 mph and be from the southwest across Boundary County with west-northwest winds across the remainder of northern Idaho.   Mixing heights are expected to from 4,000-6,000 feet AGL over all air sheds with higher values over the Palouse and Camas Prairie. The wind aloft over northern Idaho this afternoon will be from the southwest-west and northwest-west across the Clearwater SMA and will range from 10-20 mph. 


The strongest smoke impacts are occurring across the Idaho Panhandle with light impacts through the Hells Canyon and Clearwater drainages.  This will continue into the afternoon and tomorrow as cloud cover and higher moisture levels associated with the upper level low pressure system persist into Wednesday.  Given the current location of the upper level low, expect impacts from fires burning in central Washington to affect most of the Columbia Plateau and into the Palouse and Clearwater airsheds before turning north tomorrow and impacting the Idaho Panhandle.  Fires along the Idaho/Washington border will continue to affect the northern Panhandle both today and tomorrow from roughly Lake Pend Oreille and north.  By Wednesday, this system may allow for decreased fire behavior and atmospheric scouring of particulates. 

View DEQ near-real time monitoring at:  http://airquality.deq.idaho.gov/

Smoke forecasts are dependent on predicted fire growth and weather.  If conditions change unexpectedly, impacts could occur.  When visibility starts to go below 5 miles, sensitive groups should minimize outdoor activities.  Everyone else should minimize prolonged or physical activity outdoors.  Visit the Idaho Smoke Blog for more information at http://idsmoke.blogspot.com/

Your eyes are your best tools to determine if it’s safe to be outside.  Even if you smell smoke, the air quality may still be good. 


AQI Category
Visibility (miles)
Good
11+
Moderate
6-10
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
3-5
Unhealthy
1½  -2¾
Very Unhealthy
1-1¼ 
Hazardous
Less than 1


How to estimate air quality based on visibility for areas without an air quality monitor or airport visibility estimate:
a. Face away from the sun.
b. Determine the limit of your visible range by looking for targets at known distances (miles).
c. Visible range is when an object you can easily see in the distance disappears.
d. Use the visibility values above to determine the local wildfire smoke category.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

07/16/2015 Idaho DEQ Smoke Forecast

DEQ has stopped issuing daily smoke forecasts due to reduced wildfire activity and improved air quality throughout the state. Air quality is forecast to remain in the Good air quality category for at least the next couple of days.

To find an air quality forecast for your area, visit the DEQ's Daily Air Quality Reports and Forecasts webpage.


View DEQ near-real time monitoring at: http://airquality.deq.idaho.gov/

To find information on wildfire activity, visit Inciweb

DEQ will start issuing daily smoke forecasts again if wildfire activity increases.

Smoke forecasts are dependent on predicted fire growth and weather.  If conditions change unexpectedly, impacts could occur.  When visibility starts to go below 5 miles, sensitive groups should minimize outdoor activities.  Everyone else should minimize prolonged or physical activity outdoors.  Refer to the Smoke and Health Tab on the Idaho Smoke Information Blog for additional health information. 

Your eyes are your best tools to determine if it’s safe to be outside.  Even if you smell smoke, the air quality may still be good. 

AQI Category
Visibility (miles)
Good
11+
Moderate
6-10
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
3-5
Unhealthy
1½  -2¾
Very Unhealthy
1-1¼ 
Hazardous
Less than 1

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Stage II Fire Restrictions in North Idaho and Portions of Central Idaho

Wildfire danger is very high in the northern parts of Idaho and Stage II Fire Restrictions are in effect on lands within the Payette, Grangeville and Coeur d'Alene Fire Restrictions Areas.

For more information and a detailed map, please visit:
http://idahofireinfo.blogspot.com/2015/07/stage-ii-fire-restrictions-implemented.html

Friday, July 10, 2015

07/10/15 Idaho DEQ Smoke Forecast

Updated 12 Noon MDT Friday, July 10, 2015

Valid through Noon MDT Monday, July 13, 2015

Smoke Outlook

Air quality is forecast to remain in the Good to Moderate air quality category across the state, although short term readings will be higher in the Clearwater drainages and across the Idaho Panhandle. Conditions continue to improve.  Currently there are no Air Quality Alerts issued by DEQ.

Both northern and southern Idaho will be under the influence of an upper level low pressure system today and through the weekend.  This system will provide ample opportunity for afternoon thunderstorms across much of the state.  These storms are expected to be, at best, moderate in nature.  This active weather pattern will be the primary driver through Tuesday of next week before an upper level ridge returns to northern Idaho and a zonal flow pattern sets up across southern Idaho.  Both of these patterns will promote drying across the state.  At this point, there is little confidence out beyond Tuesday and re-evaluation will be needed as the new week begins.


The strongest smoke impacts are occurring across the Idaho Panhandle with light impacts through the Hells Canyon and Clearwater drainages.  This will continue in the afternoon until favorable convective conditions develop across north Idaho. 

View DEQ near-real time monitoring at:  http://airquality.deq.idaho.gov/

Smoke forecasts are dependent on predicted fire growth and weather.  If conditions change unexpectedly, impacts could occur.  When visibility starts to go below 5 miles, sensitive groups should minimize outdoor activities.  Everyone else should minimize prolonged or physical activity outdoors.  Visit the Idaho Smoke Blog for more information at http://idsmoke.blogspot.com/

Your eyes are your best tools to determine if it’s safe to be outside.  Even if you smell smoke, the air quality may still be good. 

AQI Category
Visibility (miles)
Good
11+
Moderate
6-10
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
3-5
Unhealthy
1½  -2¾
Very Unhealthy
1-1¼ 
Hazardous
Less than 1

Thursday, July 9, 2015

07/09/15 Idaho DEQ Smoke Forecast

Updated 1100am MDT Thursday, July 9, 2015

Valid through Noon MDT Friday, July 10, 2015

Smoke Outlook

Air quality is forecast to remain in the Good to Moderate air quality category across the state, although short term readings will be higher in the Clearwater drainages and across the Idaho Panhandle from Benewah County north.  Conditions have improved across the state in comparison to yesterday’s data.  Currently there are no Air Quality Alerts issued by DEQ.

Northern Idaho is under an upper level ridge pattern today with stagnant atmospheric conditions.  This will limit regional impacts but also serve to heighten the impacts of local, low-level smoke already entrained within the area.  It is unlikely to lift much today as the ridge persists through this afternoon.  The convective systems have weakened through the evening and are thus unlikely to fire off any storms today over the Panhandle or Clearwater drainages, so similar conditions to yesterday will likely occur.  Tomorrow looks to be a favorable day to mix smoke out of the region via rain scouring and convective lift associated with afternoon thunderstorms.  Southern Idaho will be influenced with scattered, wet thunderstorms that will develop across much of the Snake River Plain this afternoon, particularly across the Southern and Southeast Highlands.  Surface winds will be from the east-southeast in the southwest and southwest across the Upper Snake River Plain at 5-10 mph today.  Near thunderstorms, expect wind gusts up to 50 mph with erratic wind directions.  Similar conditions are expected through Friday.


The strongest smoke impacts are occurring across the Idaho Panhandle and through the Hells Canyon and Clearwater drainages.  This will continue in the afternoon and evening today the upper level ridge limits dispersion and movement in central and northern Idaho.  Light impacts will also occur in the Lower Snake and Southern Highlands as smoke from fires burning in the Salmon River Mountains and Oregon drift into the region.  

View DEQ near-real time monitoring at:  http://airquality.deq.idaho.gov/

Smoke forecasts are dependent on predicted fire growth and weather.  If conditions change unexpectedly, impacts could occur.  When visibility starts to go below 5 miles, sensitive groups should minimize outdoor activities.  Everyone else should minimize prolonged or physical activity outdoors.  Visit the Idaho Smoke Blog for more information at http://idsmoke.blogspot.com/

Your eyes are your best tools to determine if it’s safe to be outside.  Even if you smell smoke, the air quality may still be good. 

AQI Category
Visibility (miles)
Good
11+
Moderate
6-10
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
3-5
Unhealthy
1½  -2¾
Very Unhealthy
1-1¼ 
Hazardous
Less than 1

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wildfire Smoke Advisory Issued in North Idaho

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Melanie Collett
July 7, 2015
(208) 415-5108
  
HAYDEN, ID -- Panhandle Health District (PHD) and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) have issued a Wildfire Smoke Advisory for Boundary, Bonner, Kootenai, Shoshone, and Benewah Counties. Wildfire smoke from several fires currently burning in Idaho, Washington, and Canada are impacting air quality.

At this time, air quality is categorized as “moderate” to “unhealthy for sensitive groups.” Older adults, pregnant women, children, and those with pre-existing respiratory issues or heart disease are often more affected by these conditions. Residents may notice the smell of wildfire smoke and reduced visibility and are advised to:
  • Avoid heavy work or exercise outdoors.
  • Set air conditioning units and car vent systems to re-circulate. For homes without a central heating and/or cooling system, use portable air purifiers to remove particles.
  • Limit time outdoors, especially if you have respiratory conditions or heart disease.
  • Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated helps dilute phlegm in the respiratory tract, making it easier to cough out smoke particles.
  • Seek medical treatment for uncontrolled coughing, wheezing, choking, or if you have difficulty breathing once you move back indoors.
  • Stay up-to-date on air quality in your community. View near real-time air quality monitoring by visiting http://airquality.deq.idaho.gov/
PHD and DEQ will continue to monitor air quality conditions and will issue additional advisories as conditions warrant.

For more information on air quality or potential health impacts of wildfire smoke, you may also contact: Ralph Paul with the Department of Environmental Quality at 208-769-1422 or Erik Ketner with the Panhandle Health District at 208-415-5224.