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.

Friday, August 19, 2016

08/19/2016 Idaho DEQ Smoke Forecast

Updated 10am MDT Friday, August 19, 2016

Valid through Noon MDT Monday, August 22, 2016

Smoke Outlook

Air quality is forecast to continue to remain in the Good to Moderate air quality category across the state today with higher readings across Boise County, Blaine County, and Camas County due to the proximity and drainage of the Pioneer Fire.  Current elevated DEQ monitors include Garden Valley, Ketchum, Paul, and Franklin, which are all reading in the Moderate category.
As an upper level low pressure system tracks to the east over Montana, strong surface winds will taper off through the day with the highest speeds in the morning.  Surface wind speeds will be in the 8-12 mph range across the southwestern portion of the state with 15-20 mph across the Upper Snake River Plain.  The wind direction will be from the northeast-north with northwest winds within the Treasure Valley. Wind speeds this afternoon will taper to the 5-10 mph range across northern Idaho while remaining strong over southern Idaho.  The atmosphere will become unstable to between 2,000-7,000 feet AGL late this afternoon with a transport wind speed of generally 10-15 mph from the northeast with locally northwest flow over the Treasure Valley.  Temperatures will be above normal through Sunday as an upper level ridge persists aloft.  Wind speeds will range from 5-10 mph across southern Idaho general from the northwest on Saturday.  Northern Idaho will experience lighter wind speeds, in the 2-8 mph range, and be variable in direction.  By late Sunday/early Monday, a dry cold front will suppress the ridge pattern.  This will bring increased winds at 8-12 mph from the northwest-west as well as serve to lower temperatures to around normal.

Smoke from the Pioneer Fire will drain into the Upper Treasure Valley this morning with locally heavy impacts within the drainage corridors including Garden Valley and Idaho City before lifting and dispersing to the southeast where it will continue to affect the Ketchum area within the Big and Little Wood drainages.  Fires burning in the Salmon-Challis area will generate smoke that will drain into Salmon and Challis and down the Big and Little Lost River Valleys.  Once the inversion lifts, stronger surface and transport winds will move the smoke farther east towards the Middle Snake River Plain occupying the area between Mountain Home and Twin Falls north to Fairfield.  Fires in western Wyoming will again provide smoke into the Upper Snake River Plain via the Lower and Upper Henry’s today.  Tonight, drainage smoke will again enter the entire Treasure Valley, as well as the Northern Magic Valley and Ketchum/Sun Valley area.  Also expect to see drainage into the Island Park area via the Upper Henrys and into the Lower Henrys this evening for brief periods of increased impacts from the MT/ID border southwest before meeting smoke from the Pioneer fire in Twin Falls.
Saturday looks to be a day of clearing with limited, elevated smoke across the Snake River Plain while regions close to fires will continue to see consistent impacts. On Saturday night and into Sunday morning, smoke will drain into the Sun Valley/Ketchum areas and south to Fairfield and the northern Magic Valley as well as southeast of the fire down the Big Lost Valley.  Impacts down southwest of the Pioneer Fire into Boise, Garden Valley, and Idaho City are also to be expected.  Once the inversion lifts around noon, smoke from the Rail Fire in eastern Oregon is expected to enter the Lower Treasure Valley while a westerly wind associated with the flattening of the upper level ridge will transport smoke due east of the fires.

DEQ Air Quality Forecast and Cautions:
  • The Boise Regional Office has extended a Stage 1 Air Quality Forecast and Caution for Boise County. Valid through Friday, August 19th at 3:00 p.m.
  • The Twin Falls Regional Office has extended a Stage 1 Air Quality Forecast and Caution for Blaine and Camas Counties. Valid through Friday, August 19th at 1:00 p.m.

View DEQ near-real time monitoring at:

The USFS installed monitors near Stanley, Idaho and Lowman, Idaho.  Idaho DEQ has installed temporary monitors in Fairfield and Boise (Garden City), Idaho. The information can be found at
·         Stanley, ID monitor is Stanley-Idaho 75
·         Lowman, ID monitor is Lowman-Jolene Drive
·         Fairfield, ID monitor is Fairfield-Soldier Road
·         Boise, ID monitor is Garden City-Alworth Street

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

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

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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