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 29, 2016

08/29/2016 Idaho DEQ Smoke Forecast

Updated 8am MDT Monday, August 29, 2016

Valid through Noon MDT Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Smoke Outlook

Air quality is forecast to continue to remain in the Good to Moderate air quality category across the state today.  Current elevated DEQ monitors include St. Maries and Boise, which are reading in the Moderate Category.  Ketchum is reading in the Unhealthy category this morning and the Twin Falls monitor is currently not reporting.  Garden City is reporting elevated readings this morning as well.  Expect higher readings in the morning before clearing in the afternoon.
An upper level low pressure system in the Gulf of Alaska will provide a southwest steering flow for all of Idaho today. This system will remain entrenched for some time -at least through Wednesday- as it sends weak lobes of energy over Idaho through the week. For today, surface wind speeds will range from 5-15 mph with higher speeds across the Central Idaho Mountains.  Surface wind direction will be from the south-southeast across the Lower and Middle Snake with southwest to west winds across the Upper Snake.  Expect locally northeast winds across the Rathdrum and within the Purcell Trench.  Mixing heights will range from 1,500-11,000 feet AGL.  Transport wind speed will be between 5-10 mph and be from the northwest with locally southwest winds that follow the surface flow.  Ventilation is forecast to be POOR in the morning and GOOD in the afternoon with locally MARGINAL ventilation across parts of Payette County and Canyon County.  Expect POOR to locally MARGINAL ventilation across the northern Panhandle as well as Nez Perce County.  Inversions are expected to break between 11am-1pm.

The Pioneer fire will continue to produce smoke as it grows.  Expect to see impacts across the Upper Snake this morning before clearing to the northeast once the inversion lifts.  Dispersion this afternoon looks to be good and will promote clearing after the inversion lifts around 12noon-1pm today over southern Idaho.  The southwesterly flow pattern will help move smoke out of the Snake River Plain today but looks to move smoke from the Pioneer Fire into the Salmon area via Stanley and Challis.  Tonight, expect smoke to drain into the Ketchum area and into the Snake River Plain. Tomorrow, the south-southwest winds will push smoke out of the Snake River Plain once more with a similar pattern of impact location as today due to the similar weather pattern on Tuesday.

DEQ Air Quality Forecast and Cautions:

  • The Idaho Falls Regional Office has extended a Stage 1 Air Quality Forecast and Caution for Teton, and Custer Counties. Valid through Monday, August 29th at 4:00 p.m
  •  The Boise Regional Office has extended a Stage 1 Air Quality Forecast and Caution for Boise County.  Valid through Monday, August 29th at 3:00 p.m.

View DEQ near-real time monitoring at:

The USFS installed monitors near Stanley, Idaho, Garden Valley, Idaho, Centerville, Idaho, and Lowman, Idaho.  Idaho DEQ has installed temporary monitors in Fairfield and Boise (Garden City), Idaho. The information can be found at
·         Stanley, ID monitor is Stanley-Idaho 75
·         Lowman, ID monitor is Lowman-Jolene Drive
·         Garden Valley, ID monitor is Garden Valley-Babcock Lane
·         Fairfield, ID monitor is Fairfield-Soldier Road
·         Boise, ID monitor is Garden City-Alworth Street

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

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)
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
1½  -2¾
Very Unhealthy
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.

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