Idaho Falls Region Air Quality
The Idaho Falls Region is the second largest DEQ region and is recognized for its good air quality. However, problem areas do exist due to seasonal burning activities and wildfires.
Prescribed and agricultural burning have significantly impacted air quality in this area, especially in Idaho Falls, Salmon, and Rexburg, where air pollutants are monitored during the spring and fall months. This region manages one of the largest crop residue burning programs in the state, which has effectively limited smoke impacts in the area. Periodically, smoke levels from late-summer wildfires have increased pollution in the Salmon and Challis mountain valleys.
Wood burning stoves for home heating in the winter have been cause for concern in the Salmon area. The smoke, combined with strong winter inversions, has led to significant pollutant accumulation. A wood stove changeout program has helped with this winter problem.
To help with concerns, DEQ closely monitors air quality trends in the Salmon airshed and communicates frequently with the U.S. Forest Service and local and county governments to best predict the severity and timing of smoke impacts to the community.