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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

07/08/15 Idaho DEQ Smoke Forecast

Updated 1000am MDT Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Air quality is forecast to remain in the Good to Moderate air quality category across the state, although 
short term readings will be higher in the Clearwater drainages and across the Idaho Panhandle from 
Benewah County north.  Conditions have improved across the state in comparison to yesterday’s data.
Currently there are no Air Quality Alerts issued by DEQ.

Northern Idaho is under an upper level ridge pattern today with stagnant atmospheric conditions.  This 
will limit regional impacts but also serve to heighten the impacts of local, low-level smoke already entrained
within the area.  It is unlikely to lift much today as the ridge persists through this afternoon before late night
thunderstorms develop and carry through into tomorrow with the passage of a weak cold front. Thursday 
looks to be a favorable day to mix smoke out of the region via rain scouring and convective lift associated
with afternoon thunderstorms.  Southern Idaho will be influenced with scattered, wet thunderstorms that 
will develop across much of the Snake River Plain this afternoon, particularly across the Southern and 
Southeast Highlands.  Surface winds will be from the northwest-northeast across the Snake River Plain
at 5-10 mph today.  Near thunderstorms, expect wind gusts up to 30 mph with erratic wind directions.  
Similar conditions are expected through Thursday as fire activity will decrease with higher humidity 
values and increased cloud cover.

The strongest smoke impacts are occurring across the Idaho Panhandle and through the Hells Canyon 
and Clearwater drainages.  This will continue in the afternoon and evening today the upper level ridge 
limits dispersion and movement in central and northern Idaho.  Light impacts will also occur in the 
Lower Snake and Southern Highlands as smoke from fires burning in the Salmon River Mountains and 
Oregon drift into the region.  Burnout operations are likely to take place on the Corner Creek Fire which 
may send increased amounts of smoke into the Lower and Upper Treasure Valley.

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.  Visit the Idaho Smoke 
Blog for more information at http://idsmoke.blogspot.com/

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)
Good
11+
Moderate
6-10
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
3-5
Unhealthy
1½  -2¾
Very Unhealthy
1-1¼ 
Hazardous
Less than 1