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 12, 2014

08/12/14 Idaho DEQ Smoke Forecast

Updated 1000am MDT Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Valid through Noon MDT Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Smoke Outlook

Idaho DEQ has issued a Stage 1 Forecast and Caution for the following areas:
  • Latah, Nez Perce, Idaho, Lewis, and Clearwater Counties (Off the Nez Perce Reservation)-effective  through 10:00am PDT August 13, 2014, at which time is will be re-evaluated and either extended or lifted.
The areas of concern continue to be in the Clearwater Basin due to the proximity of local fires, there is limited transport from fires in neighboring states; however fires near the borders are likely impacting the area to some degree.  Hourly values in the Moderate, Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups and Unhealthy are currently being observed from McCall north to the Grangeville area.  Yesterday, all of DEQ’s north Idaho locations experienced impacts from wildfire smoke with 24hr AQI values of Moderate or greater.  McCall also experienced impacts with a 24hr AQI of Unhealthy for Sensitive groups.

The upper level open wave will eject across Idaho today as another strong upper level low moves over Oregon and settles there tonight.  This will provide south-southwest transport winds and introduce monsoon moisture into the southern parts of Idaho with very unstable atmospheric conditions.  Morning inversions will allow smoke to pool in the drainages before lifting with warming temperatures.  Winds will transport the smoke primarily to the north this afternoon.

There is a RED FLAG WARNING across most of the state covering all of northern Idaho and most of the southwest that runs through tomorrow afternoon.  Because tomorrow’s weather pattern looks to be similar to todays, it is not unreasonable to expect the RFW to be extended.  Conditions remain favorable this afternoon for lightning and rain/hail across the state.  Fuel conditions will provide high potential for new starts.  Wind speeds at the surface will range from 5-15 mph across the state with gusts approaching 50 mph near thunderstorms.  Generally, the surface wind direction will be from the south-southeast.

Smoke impacts today will continue to be strongest across the Clearwater with locally heavy impacts in and around the Grangeville area, north into the L-C Valley, and to a lesser extent, north into the Idaho Panhandle due to the proximity of the Big Cougar, High Range, and Johnson Bar fires.  Smoke will settle into the drainages again this evening.  AQI forecasts in Grangeville, Lewiston, McCall, and Moscow are all in the Unhealthy for Sensitive groups today.

The USFS has installed a monitor at the Fenn Ranger Station.  The information can be found at
·         Fenn monitor is Smoke#25
·         Users should be aware that the Forest Service site reports the data in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).  To convert from UTC 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.  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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