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Idaho Fire Incident Map

Monday, August 15, 2016

08/15/2016 Idaho DEQ Smoke Forecast

Updated 10am MDT Monday, August 15, 2016

Valid through Noon MDT Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Smoke Outlook

Air quality is forecast to continue to remain in the Good to Moderate air quality category across the state today.  Current elevated DEQ monitors include Nampa, Meridian, Boise, Idaho City, Garden Valley, Idaho Falls, and Franklin which are in the MODERATE category.  This weekend, both Garden Valley and Idaho City recorded sustained impacts which led to AQI levels in the UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS Category on Sunday.

An upper level ridge pattern will remain entrenched today and will provide for hot temperatures across all of Idaho.  IT is a flat ridge that is currently being suppressed by a series of minor disturbances.  This will bring a slight chance for isolated thunderstorms across the extreme ID/NV/UT border today.  Wind speeds will be in the 8-12 mph range from the west-northwest with north-northeast winds over the Camas Prairie and southwest winds over the Upper Snake River Plain and Purcell Trench.  Wind speeds at the surface will range from 5-10 mph in southern Idaho and 2-8 mph in northern Idaho.  Mixing heights will range from 2,000 feet AGL to 9,000 feet AGL.  For Tuesday, conditions will be similar with the chance for afternoon thunderstorms moving slightly farther north into the Snake River Plain and Highlands.

Because the overall weather pattern has not varied greatly, smoke impacts today are expected to continue to be local in nature and similar to the pat few days.  Smoke is expected to impact communities near active fires with morning drainage into the Upper Treasure Valley, Stanley region, and Central Idaho Mountains.  Transport this afternoon will be to the southeast.  This evening will see nocturnal drainage down the Boise-Mores into the Lower Snake River Plain.  The Camas Prairie (Fairfield) will see increased drainage smoke as well which will impact the early morning.  Tomorrow will see limited impacts across the Upper Treasure Valley in the morning and Northern Magic Valley before clearing to the northeast in the afternoon.  There will be elevated smoke from Mountain Home to Pocatello in the afternoon tomorrow with a chance for drainage smoke to enter the Upper Snake River Plain from fires burning in southwest Montana.  

DEQ Air Quality Forecast and Cautions:
  • None
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.