Updated Noon MDT Monday, August 26, 2013
Valid through noon MDT Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Idaho DEQ has issued a Stage 1 Forecast and Caution the following areas:
· Camas and Blaine Counties – effective through Wednesday, August 28, at which time it will be re-evaluated and either extended or lifted.
The areas of concern for air quality are Ketchum and Atlanta. Atlanta is being impacted by smoke from the Little Queens fire to the north. Air quality reached the Unhealthy category on Saturday in Atlanta, before improving to the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups on Sunday. Air quality in Ketchum deteriorated to the Unhealthy category on Saturday before improving to the Moderate category on Sunday. Atlanta is forecasted to be in the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups category for today and Ketchum is forecasted to be in the Moderate category for today.
Sensitive groups such as people with heart and/or lung disease, adults over age 65, young children, and pregnant women should avoid all outdoor activities until air quality improves. Everyone else should minimize outdoor activities. When air quality is in the hazardous category (visibility of less than 1 mile) everyone should stay indoors and avoid exertion.
Dry southwest flow will provide for generally clear skies and warmer temperatures. There is a possibility of moisture entering Idaho on Wednesday. Smoke from the Little Queens is expected to miss Salmon and mix with smoke from the Gold Pan Complex before moving north into the Missoula area. Fires in eastern Oregon may transport light smoke into the Lewiston area this afternoon and evening. Light smoke is expected to impact Idaho from Twin Falls west and north to Sandpoint due to the Rim fire in California.
6 emergency monitors have been installed in Idaho to help monitor smoke impacts from wildfires:
· DEQ has installed monitors in Mountain Home, Fairfield, Ketchum, and east Boise. The information can be found at http://app.airsis.com/USFS/fleet.aspx
o Fairfield – #Idaho1000
o Mountain Home - #Idaho1002
o Ketchum - #Idaho1005
o Boise - #Idaho1003
· The USFS installed monitors in Atlanta and Challis. The information can be found at http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/smoke.pl
o Atlanta monitor is Smoke#13
o Challis monitor is Smoke#21
o Users should be aware that the Forest Service site reports the data in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). To convert from UTS to Mountain Daylight Time, subtract 6 hours.
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. 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.
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
Less than 1