Current Wildfire Smoke Info
Smoke Forecast: Tuesday, August 30 through Wednesday, August 31, 2016
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 St. Maries and Boise, which are reading in the Moderate category. Salmon is reporting in the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups category. Continue to expect higher readings and impacts in the morning before clearing after 1 p.m.
The Pioneer Fire will continue to produce smoke as it grows. Expect to see impacts across the Upper Snake this morning before clearing to the northeast once the inversion lifts. This morning, expect to see smoke north of a line running from Terreton to Ashton. Dispersion this afternoon looks to be good and will promote clearing after the inversion lifts around 12 to 1 p.m. today over southern Idaho. Smoke will push nearly due north into the west-central Mountains today. The southerly flow pattern will help move smoke out of the Snake River Plain today but looks to shift to the southwest and continue to move smoke from the Pioneer Fire into the Salmon area via Stanley and Challis. Expect lofted smoke over the Nez Perce Tribal lands, the Weippe and Camas prairies. Smoke looks to push as far north as the southern end of Lake Pend Oreille late this evening. Elsewhere tonight, expect smoke to drain into the Ketchum area and into the Snake River Plain. Tomorrow, continued south-southwest winds will keep smoke out of the Snake River Plain and the strong southerly component looks to move smoke just north of Salmon, providing some reprieve. Read more on the Idaho Smoke Information Blog
Air Quality Advisories
- The DEQ Idaho Falls Regional Office extended a Stage 1 Air Quality Forecast and Caution for Custer County. Valid through Tuesday, August 30 at 4 p.m.
- The DEQ Idaho Falls Regional Office lifted a Stage 1 Air Quality Forecast and Caution for Teton County.
- The DEQ Boise Regional Office extended a Stage 1 Air Quality Forecast and Caution for Boise County. Valid through Tuesday, August 30 at 3 p.m.
- The DEQ Twin Falls Regional Office issued a Stage 1 Air Quality Forecast and Caution for Blaine County. Valid through Tuesday, August 30 at 1 p.m.
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
- Garden Valley monitor is Garden Valley-Babcock Lane
- Fairfield monitor is Fairfield-Soldier Road
- Boise monitor is Garden City-Alworth Street
For air quality forecasts and wildfire activity for your area, visit the following websites:
- Daily Air Quality Reports and Forecasts webpage
- Real-Time Smoke Monitoring
- DEQ Near-Real Time Monitoring
- Inciweb - Information on wildfire activity
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.
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
Less than 1
How to estimate air quality based on visibility for areas without an air quality monitor or airport visibility estimate:
- Face away from the sun.
- Determine the limit of your visible range by looking for targets at known distances (miles).
- Visible range is that point at which even high contrast objects totally disappear.
- 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
Idaho Division of Public Health
Environmental Health Education and Assessment Program