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Idaho Fire Incident Map

Thursday, September 8, 2016

09/08/2016 Idaho DEQ Smoke Forecast

Updated 10am MDT Thursday, September 8, 2016

Valid through Noon MDT Friday, September 9, 2016

Smoke Outlook

Air quality is forecast to continue to remain in the Good air quality category across the state today.  All monitors are currently reading in the Good Category.  Garden Valley and Stanley were in the Moderate for a 24 hour AQI yesterday. 
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 10-20 mph with locally northwest winds over the Treasure Valley.  Expect gusts to 35 mph across the southeast and eastern portions of the state.  Northern Idaho will see 8-12 mph with west-southwest winds while the Palouse will experience 10-15 mph winds from the southwest.  Skies will be partly cloudy across the Panhandle and sunny to mostly sunny elsewhere. Mixing heights will range from 3,000-9,000 feet AGL across all of Idaho today.  Transport winds will be from the west-southwest at 10-25 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 and Craters of the Moon as well as the Big and Little Lost drainages into the northern Magic Valley down HWY 75 to HWY 20.  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 afternoon. By Friday, smoke is expected to drain to the south into the Upper Treasure Valley via the Mores drainage into the Lower Boise drainage in the morning before lifting and clearing in the late morning/early afternoon.

DEQ Air Quality Forecast and Cautions:                           

  • None at this time.

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.