Updated Noon MDT Friday, August 23, 2013
Valid through noon MDT Monday, August 26, 2013
Idaho DEQ has issued a Stage 1 Forecast and Caution the following areas:
· Camas and Blaine Counties – effective through Monday, August 26, at which time it will be re-evaluated and either extended or lifted.
· South Clearwater county communities near Weippe, Orofino, and Pierce; the Highway 12 corridor east from Kooskia to the Montana border; and the areas of White Bird and Riggins in Idaho County. This Stage 1 is effective through Monday, August 26, at which time it will be re-evaluated and either extended or lifted.
The Stage 1 forecast and caution for Lemhi County has been lifted.
Air quality has improved significantly in the Ketchum/Hailey area. Air quality is in the unhealthy for sensitive groups to unhealthy in the morning and is improving to the good to moderate in the afternoon. The smoke clears daily by about 1 pm to 2 pm. Smoke moves back into the valley during the early morning hours. Air quality is forecasted to be in the Moderate, with the morning hours in the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups, for Ketchum/Hailey, as well as other areas in the central Idaho Mountains, throughout the weekend.
Salmon has also seen improvement in air quality. Convective thunderstorms that moved through last night helped move the smoke out of the valley; however, smoke is expected to entrain over the weekend. Currently Challis is experiencing light smoke impacts from the fires in central Idaho. Salmon is forecast to be in the Moderate to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups through the weekend.
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.
The Severe Thunderstorms that passed through the southwest part of the state yesterday helped clear the smoke from the valleys; however, smoke is expected to move back into the valleys later today and throughout the weekend. Southerly flow is bringing smoke from the Rim fire in the heavily-timbered Sierra Nevada Mountains of California into Southwest Idaho today. A shift to southwesterly flow will take this smoke into the central Idaho Mountains and into Salmon by Saturday. Smoke impacts from the Rim fire are expected to be light to moderate throughout the weekend. Areas close to the fires will continue to experience periods of heavy smoke impacts. Most areas of the state, except Southeast Idaho, can expect to see light to moderate smoke impacts throughout the weekend.
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