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.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

8/13/13 Idaho DEQ Smoke Forecast

Smoke Forecast for 8/13:

·         Smoke will be transported to the north and northeast of the fires in southern Idaho.  The satellite image from yesterday morning (below) shows the smoke tracking north and northeast reaching Montana.

·         Southwest Idaho can expect to see moderate to significant smoke impacts from the Elk and Pony Complex fires.  Winds will take the smoke from these fires to the north and northeast during the day.  During the evening, the smoke will drain into Mountain Home and the SE Treasure Valley, as well as the mountain valleys.  The heaviest impacted areas will continue to be Lowman, Atlanta, and Idaho City and surrounding areas.  Smoke will be heaviest during the nighttime and morning hours and should clear out some during the afternoon.

·         South-central Idaho will be impacted by the Beaver Creek Complex and McCan fires.  Southwest winds will take the smoke into the Stanley and Ketchum areas.  During the evening the smoke will drain into the Snake River Valley. Smoke will be heaviest during the nighttime and morning hours and should clear out some during the day. 

·         Idaho County can expect light smoke impacts from the fires in southern Idaho.

Air Quality Advisories:

·         Ada and Canyon counties are under a Yellow Air Quality Alert for today.

·         DEQ is continuing the Stage 1 Air Pollution Forecast and Cautions for today for Camas, Blaine, and Custer Counties. The Stage 1 for Boise and Elmore Counties effective through 3pm today, at which time it will be re-evaluated.

Significant Fires impacting Idaho:

·         Elk Complex:  10 miles SW of Pine

·         Pony Complex: 12 miles N of Mountain Home

·         Beaver Creek Complex: 12 miles NE of Fairfield

·         McCann:  4 miles NW of Fairfield

·         Lodgepole:  10 miles W of Challis

·         Gold Pan Complex:  35 miles SW of Conner, MT (in the Bitterroot NF)

·         State:  11 W of Malad (just across the UT/ID Border)

Air Quality:

Below is a summary of yesterday’s air quality and today’s forecast.  The table only includes those areas in the Moderate or above AQI category. (This information includes monitoring information for areas outside the 5 Indian Reservation Boundaries in Idaho)



Tuesday’s Forecast

Treasure Valley

Moderate – SE Boise towards Mountain Home were in the Unhealthy for Sensitive groups

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

Idaho City

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups with periods of unhealthy air

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

Garden Valley


Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups



Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups


Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups



Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups


Moderate with periods in the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups


Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups with short period in the unhealthy in the morning

Moderate with periods of Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups.

Twin Falls






Yesterday morning’s satellite image shows smoke from the Elk and Pony complex fires starting to fill in the east side of the Treasure Valley and continuing south of Mountain Home across the Snake River and into Owyhee County.  The State fire, along the UT/ID border west of Franklin, is still producing a little plume down at the Utah border. 

Figure 1.  MODIS satellite image from Monday (8/12) morning

4 emergency monitors have been installed in Idaho to help monitor smoke impacts from wildfires:

·         DEQ installed a monitor in Challis for the Lodgepole fire. The information can be found at Choose monitor #Idaho1004

·         The USFS installed monitors in Lowman, Atlanta, and Challis.  The information can be found at

o    Lowman monitor is Smoke#19

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:

Smoke forecasts are dependent on predicted fire growth and weather.  If conditions change unexpectedly, impacts could occur.  Communities nearby active fires may experience periods of air quality which are Moderate (visibility of 6-10 miles).  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. 

AQI Category

Visibility (miles)





Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups



1½  -2¾

Very Unhealthy



Less than 1



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