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.

Monday, August 31, 2015

DEQ lifts Air Quality Forecast and Caution for 5 north Idaho counties

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has lifted the Emergency Air Quality Forecast and Caution for Boundary, Bonner, Kootenai, Benewah and Shoshone Counties (outside of reservation boundaries), effective 8/31/2015 at 12 PM. Please be aware that  numerous wildfires are still active across north Idaho and air quality can deteriorate rapidly. Be aware of changing conditions to protect your health.

DEQ lifts Air Quality Forecast and Caution for Custer and Lemhi Counties

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has lifted the Emergency Air Quality Forecast and Caution for Lemhi and Custer Counties.

08/31/2015 Idaho DEQ Smoke Forecast

Updated Noon MDT Monday, August 31, 2015

Valid through: Noon MDT Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Smoke Outlook

Air quality is currently ranging from Good to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups in all of Idaho with higher hourly impacts across the Clearwater Basin Drainage and the Salmon-Challis area.  Air quality is forecast to remain in Moderate to Unhealthy category for the 24hr standard across central Idaho today while northern Idaho has seen some improvement and is forecast to be in the Good to Moderate category. Southern Idaho remains in the Good category.  Impacts are from regional fires burning in Washington State, California, Oregon, and a multitude of local fires in the Clearwater drainage, the northern Panhandle, and Central Idaho Mountains.

Nez Perce Reservation:  24-hour monitor readings range from Good to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups.  Hourly readings are fluctuating from Moderate to Unhealthy, depending on location and wind direction.  The Nez Perce Tribe will continue their Air Quality Advisory.  Please contact the Nez Perce Tribe for more information: airquality@nezperce.org.

For the remainder of Monday, expect partly to mostly cloudy skies and wind speeds from 5-10 mph in the southeast, 2-8 mph in the southwest, and 8-12 mph across the northern Panhandle.  Generally speaking, the winds at the surface will be from the southwest-west with regions of northwest within the Treasure Valley and over the Clearwater drainages.  There may be light showers over elevated regions across the state this afternoon in extreme northern Idaho.  On Tuesday, a more southwesterly flow pattern will establish as an upper level low settles of Haida Gwaii.  This will continue to allow drier and warmer conditions to establish before the system moves east and brings cooler, stormier weather.  This may allow for an increase in fire activity in the short term.
 
The strongest smoke impacts are occurring across the Clearwater drainages, Central Idaho Mountains, and the northern Panhandle with lighter impacts in the McCall region.  Expect to experience impacts from the Canada border south to the Salmon River corridor with some drainage impacts into the McCall and the Lower Treasure Valley areas tonight.  The highest impacts are expected to be within the drainages of the Clearwater, Salmon, Lochsa, down into the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley.  The northern tier of the Purcell Trench will also continue to experience impacts with some clearing from Moscow north to Sandpoint.  In southern Idaho, impacts will be greatest within the drainages around McCall and the Lower Treasure Valley and generally north (and including) of a line running from Weiser to Salmon.  Conditions have generally improved across all of Idaho with values in the Good and Moderate range across all monitors except for Cottonwood, which is reading Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups.  Nighttime drainage smoke will continue to provide impacts in regions near and downwind of the fires.  Impacts in the central Idaho region will continue to be the greatest into Wednesday as fire activity is likely to increase. Fires burning in northeast Oregon and southeast Washington will continue to add smoke into the Palouse region.  Clearing should be expected over the open expanses with greater improvement possible from Wednesday on through the weekend.

DEQ Air Quality Advisories:

Idaho DEQ has issued an Air Quality Advisory:
·         Lewiston Regional Office for  Latah, Nez Perce, Lewis, Clearwater, Idaho Counties, river corridors and surrounding areas (off the Nez Perce Reservation) through September 1st at 10:00am when it will be extended or lifted.

·         Idaho Falls Regional Office for Lemhi County and Custer County until August 31st at 3:00pm when it will be extended or lifted.
View DEQ near-real time monitoring at: http://airquality.deq.idaho.gov/

 The USFS installed monitors in Riggins, ID, Halfway, OR, and Newport, WA.  The information can be found at http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/smoke.pl
·         Riggins, ID monitor is Smoke USFS R1-306
·         Halfway, OR monitor is Smoke #68
·         Users should be aware that the Forest Service site reports the data in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).  To convert from UTC to Mountain Daylight Time, subtract 6 hours.

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.

DEQ extends Air Quality Forecast and Caution for North Central Idaho

Due to wildfire smoke throughout the region, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is extending an Air Quality Forecast and Caution to notify residents of Idaho, Nez Perce, Lewis, Clearwater and Latah Counties (off the Nez Perce Reservation) of degraded air quality.  Air quality is currently in the MODERATE category and is forecast to remain in the MODERATE to UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS category for Idaho County and southern Clearwater County.  The other counties have seen some improvement and are forecasted to be in the Good to Moderate category. Conditions may deteriorate rapidly and move into the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups to Unhealthy categories at times based on fire activity and winds. The pollutant of concern is Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5). An update will be provided on September 1, 2015 at 10:00am.
Health Impacts and Recommended Actions
When air quality is unhealthy, everyone may begin to experience health effects. Members of sensitive groups* may experience more serious effects & should avoid prolonged/heavy exertion & stay indoors. Everyone else should limit prolonged/heavy exertion & limit time outdoors.
Outdoor Burning Restrictions
All outdoor open burning is prohibited by the Department of Environmental Quality Rules for the Control of Air Pollution in Idaho (IDAPA 58.01.01.550).
Contact
For more information, contact DEQ’s Regional Office in Lewiston at (208) 799-4370.
For real-time air monitoring information, visit DEQ’s website at airquality.deq.idaho.gov.
For more information about wildfire smoke, visit Idaho’s Smoke Blog at idsmoke.blogspot.com.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Air Quality Advisory Remains in Effect on the Nez Perce Reservation

Description of Air Quality Event:
Due to wildfire smoke from local and regional wildfires, the Air Quality Advisory issued for the Nez Perce Reservation remains in effect. Wildfire smoke will continue to move in and out of the area during the day and overnight.

Affected Areas:        
All areas on the Nez Perce Reservation.

Air Quality Index (AQI) Category:
For those communities in close proximity to the fires, both 24-hour and 1-hour monitor readings can be expected to range from the “Moderate” to “Unhealthy” category.  The western most portion of the Reservation is forecasted to remain in the “Good” to “Moderate” category. Local air quality will improve and worsen as smoke moves in and out of communities. Some areas may be more impacted than others, so please take appropriate precautions.  For AQI health-related information, visit Community Guide to Staying Healthy During Wildfire Smoke Events.

Restrictions:  
No EPA/NPT burn permits will be approved.

Next Update:
These restrictions are in effect through 10:00am Tuesday, September 1st, 2015.

Nez Perce Tribe ERWM Air Quality Program
208-843-9381 | 1-800-720-4089
airquality@nezperce.org | www.nezperce.org/AirQuality/

Friday, August 28, 2015

Idaho DEQ Air Quality Forecast and Caution

DEQ air quality advisories remain in effect over this weekend for the following counties of Idaho outside of reservation boundaries:

·         Boundary
·         Bonner
·         Kootenai
·         Benewah
·         Shoshone
·         Latah
·         Clearwater
·         Nez Perce
·         Lewis
·         Idaho
·         Lemhi
·         Custer

All open burning is prohibited under these regional air quality advisories, including campfires, recreational fires, weed control burning, and residential burning.  Please see the following for additional information:
http://www.deq.idaho.gov/air-quality/monitoring/daily-reports-and-forecasts/

Closures in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest

For information on forest closure orders this weekend due to wildfire activity in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest (Priest Lake, Bonners Ferry, Sandpoint, Coeur d'Alene,  and St. Joe Ranger Districts), please refer to the following website:
http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/ipnf/learning/safety-ethics/?cid=stelprd3850265