Protecting Public Health and the Environment.

Current Wildfire Smoke Info

Smoke Forecast: Wednesday, August 24 through Thursday, August 25, 2016

Air quality is forecast to continue to remain in the Good to Moderate air quality category across the state today with higher readings across Boise, Custer, Bonneville, and Teton couties due to the proximity and drainage of the Pioneer Fire as well as fires in western Wyoming. Current elevated DEQ monitors include Salmon, Rexburg, Franklin, Garden Valley, Idaho City, Pinehurst, Potlatch, Lewiston, and the Coeur d’Alene tribal monitor in Plummer which are all reading in the Moderate Category. Idaho Falls is currently reading in the Unhealthy category.
                                                 
Smoke from the Pioneer Fire will affect the Ketchum area within the Big and Little Wood drainages into the Arco Desert to Pocatello. This afternoon, a northwest to west wind will provide some clearing out of the Snake River Plain with impacts confined to mainly east of Mountain Home and east through much of the Upper Snake. New fire starts this past weekend look to produce smoke across eastern and southeast Idaho with impacts into the Idaho Falls, Rexburg, Teton Valley, and Island Park area and south to Soda Springs. An easterly wind across northern Idaho will remove impacts from fires in Washington; however, it will bring morning smoke from Montana fires this morning before lifting out this afternoon. Tonight, drainage smoke will again enter the Lower Snake River Plain east of Boise as well as down into the Middle and Upper Snake via the Arco Desert extending east to Island Park. Tomorrow, widespread light smoke aloft is expected into the afternoon from the Middle Snake east to Idaho Falls. Brief, morning impacts should be expected across the Silver Valley, Clearwater drainages, and Columbia Basin. Read more on the Idaho Smoke Information Blog

Air Quality Advisories

  • The DEQ Idaho Falls Regional Office has issued a Stage 1 Air Quality Forecast and Caution for Teton, Bonneville, and Custer counties. Valid through Wednesday, August 24 at 4 p.m.
  • The DEQ Boise Regional Office has extended a Stage 1 Air Quality Forecast and Caution for Boise County. Valid through Wednesday, August 24 at 3 p.m.

Monitoring

The U.S. Forest Service installed monitors near Stanley and Lowman. The information can be found here. DEQ has also installed temporary monitors in Fairfield and Boise.

  • Stanley monitor is Stanley-Idaho 75
  • Lowman monitor is Lowman-Jolene Drive
  • Fairfield monitor is Fairfield-Soldier Road
  • Boise monitor is Garden City-Alworth Street

Map of DEQ air quality monitors

For air quality forecasts and wildfire activity for your area, visit the following websites:

Please be aware of and utilize the Smoke Complaint Hotline at 1-800-345-1007.

Smoke forecasts are dependent on predicted fire growth and weather. If conditions change unexpectedly, impacts could occur.

Air Quality Conditions

Under Idaho’s Air Pollution Emergency Rule, DEQ may issue air quality alerts when pollutant levels reach levels that endanger public health. The alerts range from Stage 1 to 4, with each stage addressing a progressively more serious air quality event and triggering certain emergency actions.

Note: Idaho DEQ does not have jurisdiction within the five Indian Reservations in Idaho. For air quality information on the reservations, contact the individual Tribes.

Visual Smoke Observation

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. Refer to the Smoke and Health Tab on the Idaho Smoke Information Blog for additional health information.

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.

Visibility Range
(in miles)

Health Category

11+

Good

6-10

Moderate

3-5

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

1.5-2.75

Unhealthy

1-1.25

Very Unhealthy

Less than 1

Hazardous

How to estimate air quality based on visibility for areas without an air quality monitor or airport visibility estimate:

  1. Face away from the sun.
  2. Determine the limit of your visible range by looking for targets at known distances (miles).
  3. Visible range is that point at which even high contrast objects totally disappear.
  4. Use the values above to determine the local forest fire smoke category.

Health Impacts and Recommendations

Air Quality Guide for Pollution from Wildfire Smoke
A table identifying potential health effects and recommendations for appropriate exertion levels.

Recommendations for Schools and Others Responsible for Children during a Wildfire Smoke Event
A table identifying potential health effects and recommendations for childrens' exertion levels.

Wildfire Smoke: A Guide for Public Health Officials
A guide intended to help local public health officials adequately communicate health risks and precautions to the public when smoke is present.

Emergency Preparedness and Response: Wildfires
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website)
Information on health effects of smoke as well as other dangers associated with wildfires.

For general health questions regarding wildfire smoke, contact:
Jim Vannoy, MPH
Program Manager
Idaho Division of Public Health
Environmental Health Education and Assessment Program
(208) 334-4964


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Staff Contacts

Smoke Management Program Coordinator
Vacant
DEQ State Office
Air Quality Division
1410 N. Hilton
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 373-0502

Air Quality Meteorologist
Jacob Wolf
DEQ State Office
Air Quality Division
1410 N. Hilton
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 373-0480
jacob.wolf@deq.idaho.gov

Air Quality Manager
David Luft
DEQ Boise Regional Office
1445 N. Orchard St.
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 373-0550
david.luft@deq.idaho.gov

Air Quality Manager
Mark Boyle
DEQ Coeur d'Alene Regional Office
2110 Ironwood Parkway
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
(208) 666-4607
mark.boyle@deq.idaho.gov

Remediation and Air Quality Manager
Rensay Owen
DEQ Idaho Falls Regional Office
900 N. Skyline Drive, Suite B
Idaho Falls, ID 83402
(208) 528-2650
rensay.owen@deq.idaho.gov

Air Quality Manager
Vacant
DEQ Lewiston Regional Office
1118 "F" St.
Lewiston, ID 83501
(208) 799-4370

Air Quality Manager
Melissa Gibbs
DEQ Pocatello Regional Office
444 Hospital Way #300
Pocatello, ID 83201
(208) 236-6160
melissa.gibbs@deq.idaho.gov

Remediation and Air Quality Manager
Bobby Dye
DEQ Twin Falls Regional Office
650 Addison Avenue West, Suite 110
Twin Falls, ID 83301
(208) 736-2190
bobby.dye@deq.idaho.gov

More Information

Wildfire Smoke and Your Health

Related Pages

Particulate Matter

Wildland Fires

Air Pollution Emergencies