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Idaho Fire Incident Map

Monday, August 8, 2016

08/08/2016 Idaho DEQ Smoke Forecast

Updated 10am MDT Monday, August 8, 2016

Valid through Noon MDT Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Smoke Outlook

Air quality is forecast to continue to remain in the Good to Moderate air quality category across the state today.  Salmon and Franklin are currently reading in the Moderate Category.  In north Idaho, monitor readings are all currently in the Good Category.  Expect higher readings in the evening and early morning before improving during the day.

Today, an upper level lower pressure system will approach from the west and is expected to keep showers and thunderstorms west of Idaho; however there is a chance for thunderstorms over the west central mountains.  Wind speeds will be in the 5-10 mph range from the southwest with northwest winds across the Treasure Valley, northern Magic Valley, LC Valley, and northeast winds over the Camas Prairie.  Tomorrow will see widespread showers across northern and central Idaho as the upper level low pressure system moves over central Idaho by the afternoon.  Wind directions over northern Idaho will be dependent on the positioning of the upper level low pressure system, but generally will be from the west-southwest.  Wind speeds at the surface will range from 10-15 mph in southern Idaho and 5-10 mph in northern Idaho.  Gusts up to 30 mph are possible from the Arco Desert east to Island Park.

Smoke impacts today are expected to be more localized with continued cooler temperatures.  Brief periods of heavy, localized smoke should be expected in the morning before the inversion lifts around 11am today.  The regions that should expect to see smoke this evening include the Upper Snake River Plain from the Arco Desert to the Mud Lake area.  Impacts are expected to stay north of the Pocatello region.  The southern extent of the Lower Pressure Valley will also see impacts from fires burning in eastern Oregon today.  Tuesday sees much of the same with the Lower Treasure Valley seeing impacts as well as transport from the Pioneer fire into the Salmon area in the evening.  During the day, there will be limited impacts along the Owyhee and Canyon/Ada County lines while the Magic Valley will likely see elevated smoke.

DEQ Air Quality Forecast and Cautions:

  • The Idaho Falls Regional Office has issued a Stage 1 Forecast and Caution for Custer County. Valid through Monday, August 8th at 10:00 a.m.
  • The Boise Regional Office has issued a Stage 1 Forecast and Caution for Boise County. Valid through Monday, August 8th at 3:00 p.m.
  • Pocatello Regional Office has lifted a Stage 1 Forecast and Caution for Bannock, Bear Lake, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida, and Power Counties. 
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.