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.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

07/27/2016 Idaho DEQ Smoke Forecast

Updated 12 Noon MDT Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Valid through Noon MDT Thursday, July 28, 2016

Smoke Outlook

Air quality is forecast to remain in the Good to Moderate air quality category across the state, although short term readings are currently in the Unhealthy category in Idaho City due to the proximity of the Pioneer Fire.  The Comet Fire began yesterday north of Salmon with light impacts observed on monitors; nocturnal drainage this evening will likely bring ample smoke into the vicinity.  The strongest smoke impacts are occurring in the vicinity of Idaho City due to the proximity of the Pioneer Fire; however, impacts are being recorded to the southwest in Nampa, east through the Snake River Plain into Twin Falls, and southeast into Pocatello and Franklin and the low spots within the Southeast Highlands.  Again, nocturnal drainage into Salmon will occur this evening due to the proximity of the Comet Fire.

A weak upper level disturbance will pass through the Central Idaho Mountains today and will provide another day of unstable air with isolated afternoon thunderstorms.  This will be restricted to the complex and high elevation terrain.  Due to the warm mid-level, mixing at the valley floors will be limited to around 3,000-5,000 feet AGL today with light transport winds at 8-12 mph from the northwest-west-southwest across the Snake River Plain from west to east.  A generally westerly component will drive the mean flow today under a zonal flow pattern.  Salmon should expect to see northeast transport into the valley today.  While directions will not change much tomorrow, wind speeds will increase and promote increased mixing heights and transport of smoke to higher levels within the atmosphere.

Tonight, surface level smoke will drain down the valleys from Salmon south into the Upper Snake River Plain, northern Magic Valley, and Upper Treasure Valley once again. During the day, this will move to the south into the Southern and Southeast Highlands.  By sundown tomorrow evening, expect to see higher concentrations enter the Upper Treasure Valley.  Expect consistent moderate impacts to the Idaho City area and Salmon area.

Air Quality Advisories:

·         None at this time

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.  Visit the Idaho Smoke Blog for more information at

AQI Category
Visibility (miles)
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
1½  -2¾
Very Unhealthy
Less than 1

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.

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