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, December 11, 2017

2017 Idaho Wildfire Season Recap



Notice: This blog is not routinely managed after the Idaho wildfire season has effectively concluded. If you are looking for air quality information when wildfires are not active in Idaho please consider visiting Idaho Department of Environmental Quality's air quality forecast and burn map page at: http://www.deq.idaho.gov/air-quality/monitoring/daily-reports-and-forecasts .

Idaho Wildfire Season Recap

Fire starts began in July and continued into August. By early August wildfire smoke began to impact Idaho’s residents. By the first week of September under warm and very dry conditions wildfire smoke thoroughly blanketed all of Idaho exposing many of Idaho citizens to potentially serious health impacts. The most severe air quality impacts this season were experienced in communities in north and central Idaho where Hazardous Conditions were measured for four days in the Coeur d’Alene area.

September number of days with Hazardous air quality from PM2.5 Particulate Pollution
 
Wildfires burned on over 5 million acres in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Montana, and British Columbia Canada combined. Over 700,000 acres were affected by wildfire in Idaho this year.
  • Idaho wildfires in 2017 released over 111,000 tons of direct fine particulate pollution (PM2.5) into the air. This is equal to 10 times the amount of particulate pollution that all the cars and trucks in Idaho emit over a three year period.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Coeur d'Alene Regional Office has issued an Air Quality Advisory and Stage 1 Air Quality Forecast and Caution

Air Quality Forecast and Caution - Issued

Date/Time Issued: Friday, September 15, 2017/10:00 a.m.

Expires: Monday, September 18, 2017/10:00 a.m.

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has issued an Air Quality Advisory and Stage 1 Air Quality Forecast and Caution to notify residents of Benewah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties of degraded air quality. Due to wildfire smoke from fires in Canada, Montana and the western U.S. air quality has been degraded.  Air quality is currently in the UNHEALTHY for SENSITIVE GROUPS to UNHEALTHY categories and is forecast to continue to be degraded through Monday morning. The pollutant of concern is Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5).

Woodstove Burning Restrictions

Voluntary burn ban for residential wood burning activities.

Outdoor Burning Restrictions

All outdoor open burning is prohibited by the Department of Environmental Quality in accordance with the Rules for the Control of Air Pollution in Idaho (IDAPA 58.01.01.550).

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.

Contact

For more information, contact DEQ’s Regional Office in Coeur d'Alene at (208) 769-1422.

For real-time air monitoring information, visit DEQ’s website at airquality.deq.idaho.gov.

For more information concerning local ordinances contact your local city or county.

Air Quality Index (AQI):

 

For more information on the AQI, visit http://www.epa.gov/airnow/aqi_brochure_02_14.pdf.

For more information about wildfire smoke, visit Idaho’s Smoke Blog at idsmoke.blogspot.com.

* Sensitive groups include those with heart and lung disease, older adults, and children.

 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Smoke Outlook



Air quality is forecast to range from Good to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups; however hourly readings may be higher at times.  Most recent monitor observations are currently reading in the Good to Moderate level for an hourly reading.  Yesterday saw levels that ranged from Good to Moderate with Riggins in the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups for a 24hr AQI.   Conditions have improved dramatically across the state as consistent southwesterly winds provided clearing of smoke at the surface and aloft.
                                                                                                                                             
The upper low pressure system will begin to track to the northeast which will further weaken the upper level ridge currently in place over Idaho.  Surface winds will be from the west-southwest at 2-8 mph with locally northwest winds over portions of the Upper Snake River Plain, Treasure Valley, and Camas Prairie.  Skies will be sunny.  Mixing heights will range from 2,000-8,000 feet AGL across all of Idaho today with poor to marginal ventilation over the entire Snake River Plain and from Weiser south.  Ventilation is also poor to marginal over most of western central Idaho.  Transport winds will be from the west-southwest at 5-10 mph. 
 
Improvement of air quality is expected to continue today with light smoke possible from Boise to Riggins and east through the Salmon River Corridor to Salmon. This evening, regional smoke is expected over the Middle and Upper Snake River Plain; however concentrations will be light in comparison to previous readings.  Tomorrow, expect impacts to be localized to central Idaho, the Big, Little, and Lemhi drainages into the northern periphery of the Upper Snake River Plain.  Lofted smoke is expected to cover the northern Panhandle tomorrow as smoke from fires in Washington become more active today.

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.  

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. 

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.

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