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Idaho Fire Incident Map

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

08/11/2015 Idaho DEQ Smoke Forecast

Updated 1100am MDT Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Valid through: Noon MDT Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Smoke Outlook

Air quality is currently ranging from Good to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups across northern Idaho.  Air quality is forecast to remain in the Moderate to Good category for the 24hr standard across the northern Panhandle with short term impacts across most of central Idaho.  Impacts are from regional fires burning in primarily in Washington State and a multitude of local fires that started last night in the Clearwater drainage.

An upper level low pressure system off the Oregon Coast will continue to provide warm, moist air into all of Idaho this afternoon and tomorrow.  This will allow for a persistent chance of lightning and thunderstorms this afternoon and into tomorrow.  Surface winds will be light today and generally from the east which will promote advection into the more populated areas of central Idaho.  Mixing heights are expected to be quite high (8,000-10,000 ft AGL), except across Boundary County (2,000 ft AGL) which should help to limit daytime impacts.  Tomorrow, a stronger southerly component develops for northern Idaho which should help to ventilate the areas impacted today.

The strongest smoke impacts are occurring across the Idaho Panhandle and Clearwater drainages.  This will continue into the afternoon and especially this evening as a nocturnal easterly flow develops within the Clearwater and a southerly drainage develops within the Purcell Trench.  Expect to experience impacts from the Canadian Border south to Coeur d’Alene and along the low spots to Lewiston and east essentially to within the Lochsa Drainage.  The highest impacts are expected to be within the Purcell Trench and the drainages into Camas and Weippe Prairies, as well as down to the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley.

DEQ AiQuality Advisories:

·      None at this time

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.