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Idaho Fire Incident Map

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

09/06/2016 Idaho DEQ Smoke Forecast

Updated 8am MDT Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Valid through Noon MDT Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Smoke Outlook

Air quality is forecast to continue to remain in the Good to Moderate air quality category across the state today.  All monitors are reading in the Good Category.  Lowman and Stanley were in the Moderate for a 24 hour AQI yesterday.  Continue to expect higher readings and impacts in the morning before clearing after the inversion lifts, between 11am-12noon.
Today will see a continued slight chance of showers across central and northern Idaho.  South Idaho will see fair weather conditions with winds from the west-southwest at 5-10 mph with locally northwest winds over the Magic Valley.  Northern Idaho will see 5-10 mph with west-southwest winds.  Skies will be partly cloudy to cloudy. Mixing heights will range from 5,000-9,000 feet AGL across southern Idaho and from 1,000-4,000 feet AGL over northern Idaho today.  Transport winds will be from the west-southwest at 5-15 mph with locally northwest transport winds over the Magic Valley.

Smoke impacts are expected to be greater in the morning prior to the inversion lift.  Dispersion this afternoon looks to be good and will promote clearing after the inversion lifts around 11am-12noon today over all of Idaho.  Smoke will push to the northeast this afternoon.  This will continue to keep smoke out of the Snake River Plain today and move smoke from the Pioneer Fire northeast as to impact the Challis/Salmon area consistently all day.  Due to the strong westerly wind component, north Idaho remains relatively clear of smoke.  Tonight, drainage smoke will impact the Challis area quite strongly when compared to previous nights.  Impacts tonight will affect Salmon to Ketchum.   Expect similar nighttime drainage impacts and clearing during the day.  Due to lighter winds tomorrow, local impacts to regions close to fire activity should be expected.  Inversions are expected to lift between 11am-12noon in that area, so clearing is expected in the early afternoons.

DEQ Air Quality Forecast and Cautions:          
  • The Boise Regional Office has extended a Stage 1 Air Quality Forecast and Caution for Boise County. Valid through Tuesday, September 06that 3:00 p.m.
  • The Idaho Falls Regional Office has issued a Stage 1 Air Quality Forecast and Caution for Custer and Lemhi Counties. Valid through September 06th at 12:00 p.m.

View real time smoke monitoring at:

View DEQ near-real time monitoring at:

The USFS installed monitors near Stanley, Idaho, Garden Valley, 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

·         Garden Valley, ID monitor is Garden Valley-Babcock Lane

·         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.