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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

09/07/2016 Idaho DEQ Smoke Forecast

Updated 8am MDT Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Valid through Noon MDT Thursday, September 8, 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 except for Franklin which is currently reading in the Moderate Category.  Garden Valley was 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 the northern Panhandle.  South Idaho will see fair weather conditions with winds from the west-southwest at 5-15 mph with locally northwest winds over the Treasure Valley.  Northern Idaho will see 5-10 mph with west-southwest winds.  Skies will be partly cloudy to partly sunny. Mixing heights will range from 2,000-6,000 feet AGL across all of Idaho today.  Transport winds will be from the west-southwest at 5-15 mph with locally northwest transport winds over the Treasure Valley and Lewiston-Clarkston 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 area at times.  The impacts look to be light and confined to be within the corridors along HWYs 21/75/93 running north of Idaho City to Challis.  This evening, expect smoke to drain south from Challis down the Big Lost drainage to Arco.  Expect similar nighttime drainage impacts and clearing during the day tomorrow.  Fire activity is expected to continue to be low and smoke production should be limited as a result.  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 lifted a Stage 1 Air Quality Forecast and Caution for Boise County.
  • The Idaho Falls Regional Office has lifted a Stage 1 Air Quality Forecast and Caution for Custer and Lemhi Counties.

View real time smoke monitoring at:  http://www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=topics.smoke_wildfires

View DEQ near-real time monitoring at: http://airquality.deq.idaho.gov/


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 http://smoke.airfire.org/monitoringReport/#/?date=LATEST&productType=plotTable.

·         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 http://idsmoke.blogspot.com/


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)
Good
11+
Moderate
6-10
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
3-5
Unhealthy
1½  -2¾
Very Unhealthy
1-1¼ 
Hazardous
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.