Updated Noon MDT Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Valid through Noon MDT Friday, August 30, 2013
Idaho DEQ has lifted a Stage 1 Forecast and Caution for Camas and Blaine Counties. All DEQ-issued Stage 1 forecast and cautions have been lifted.
Atlanta continues to be impacted by smoke from the Little Queens fire to the north. Air quality reached Unhealthy yesterday. Today, air quality is expected to similar to yesterday. Air quality is worse in the morning and then improves to the good to moderate category during the afternoon and evening hours, before returning to Unhealthy. Atlanta is forecast to be Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups today with periods of Unhealthy.
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.
Ketchum continues to experience air quality in the Moderate to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups category in the morning before improving to good air quality by afternoon.
Today poses the last day of significant lightning threat in southern Idaho as the upper level ridge strengthens and effectively cuts off any monsoon moisture from reaching Idaho, except for a sliver of the extreme Southeast Idaho near Bear Lake. Winds speeds continue to be moderate to strong as upper level winds of 50 mph or so are overhead with the possibility of mixing down to the surface. Mixing heights look to be from 6K-10K feet AGL with the mid-level moisture being the limiting factor over some air sheds. Red Flag Warnings over southwestern and south-central Idaho today through this evening. No red flags are listed in Eastern Idaho as fuels have been reported as non-critical due to precipitation received late last week. Weather-wise, all of the criteria for a Red Flag Warning have been met, but fuel condition is the reason behind non-issuance in those zones. This pattern of warm and dry conditions will persist through Sunday, while model confidence is low in what will happen beyond Sunday.
Smoke impacts for today will likely continue to be light and cover the Stanley and Salmon areas from the Little Queens fire and the Rim fire in California. Smoke from several fires in southeastern Washington is likely to impact Idaho from Lewiston and Lapwai all the way north to the Idaho-Canadian border along the Highway 95 corridor, depending on fire activity. Winds are expected to shift from the south to the southwest this afternoon, and then from the west by Friday and into this weekend. This afternoon and Thursday, areas to the northeast of fires may experience light to moderate smoke impacts and by Friday those areas east of fires may experience light to moderate smoke impacts.
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