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Idaho Fire Incident Map

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

08/26/2015 Idaho DEQ Smoke Forecast

Updated Noon MDT Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Valid through: Noon MDT Thursday, August 27, 2015

Smoke Outlook

Air quality is currently ranging from Good to Hazardous across all of Idaho with higher impacts across the Clearwater Basin Drainage, the Treasure Valley, and the Salmon-Challis area.  Air quality is forecast to remain in the Moderate to Unhealthy category for the 24hr standard across central Idaho.  Impacts are from regional fires burning in Washington State, California, Oregon, and a multitude of local fires in the Clearwater drainage, the northern Panhandle, and Central Idaho Mountains.

Nez Perce Reservation:  24-hour monitor readings range from Unhealthy to Hazardous.  Hourly readings are fluctuating from Moderate to Hazardous, depending on location and wind direction.  The Nez Perce Tribe will continue their Air Quality Advisory.  Please contact the Nez Perce Tribe for more information:
An upper level ridge of high pressure centered over the desert Southwest is keeping a ridge all the way into Montana, which will maintain warm temperatures and light winds for all of Idaho.  There are minor disturbances embedded within this ridge which can be blamed for today’s storms across the Southeast Highlands.  Tomorrow should see a flattening of the ridge as an upper level low pressure system slowly approaches the eastern Pacific coast near Oregon and Washington.
The strongest smoke impacts are occurring across the Clearwater drainages, Central Idaho Mountains as well as southwest Idaho.  This will continue into the afternoon and evening.  Expect to experience impacts from the Canada border south to the Idaho/Nevada and Idaho/Utah border.  The highest impacts are expected to be within the drainages of the Clearwater, Salmon, Lochsa, down into the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley.  In southern Idaho, impacts will be greatest within the drainages around McCall and Garden Valley and generally north of a line running from Weiser to Salmon.  Conditions have generally improved across southern Idaho with values in the Good and Moderate range across all monitors except for Salmon, which is currently reading Unhealthy for Insensitive Groups.  Nocturnal drainage flow will contribute to greater impacts in all of Idaho tonight, especially within the drainages into the Lewiston-Clarkston area and the Snake River Plain off the Central Idaho Mountains.  High level smoke is expected from California fires as the southwesterly flow pattern continues to drive the weather over Idaho.  Impacts in the central Idaho region will continue to be quite strong as the ridge limits mixing and wind speeds into Thursday and Friday.  No major weather changes are expected until the end of this week with increasingly unsettled weather with the chance for afternoon thunderstorms.

DEQ AiQuality Advisories:

Idaho DEQ has issued an Air Quality Advisory:
·         Coeur d’Alene Regional Office for Boundary, Bonner, Kootenai, Shoshone, and Benewah Counties through August 27th at 12:00noon when it will be extended or lifted.
·         Lewiston Regional Office for  Latah, Nez Perce, Lewis, Clearwater, Idaho Counties, river corridors and surrounding areas (off the Nez Perce Reservation) through August 27th at 10:00am when it will be extended or lifted.
·         Boise Regional Office for Adams, Valley, Washington, Payette, Gem, Boise, Canyon, Ada, Elmore, and Owyhee Counties through August 26th at 3:00pm when it will be extended or lifted.

·         Idaho Falls Regional Office for Lemhi County until August 26th at 12:00 noon when it will be extended or lifted.

View DEQ near-real time monitoring at:
     The USFS installed monitors in Riggins, ID, Halfway, OR, and Newport, WA.  The information can be found at
·         Riggins, ID monitor is Smoke USFS R1-306
·         Halfway, OR monitor is Smoke #68
·         Newport, WA monitor is Smoke E-BAM 925
·         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.

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

our 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.