Protecting Public Health and the Environment.

Current Wildfire Smoke Info

Smoke Outlook

September 11, 2017

Air quality is forecast to range from Good to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups; however hourly readings may be higher at times. Most recent monitor observations are currently reading in the Good to Moderate level for an hourly reading. Yesterday saw levels that ranged from Good to Moderate with Riggins in the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups for a 24-hour AQI. Conditions have improved dramatically across the state as consistent southwesterly winds provided clearing of smoke at the surface and aloft.

The upper low pressure system will begin to track to the northeast which will further weaken the upper level ridge currently in place over Idaho. Surface winds will be from the west-southwest at 2-8 mph with locally northwest winds over portions of the Upper Snake River Plain, Treasure Valley, and Camas Prairie. Skies will be sunny. Mixing heights will range from 2,000-8,000 feet AGL across all of Idaho today with poor to marginal ventilation over the entire Snake River Plain and from Weiser south. Ventilation is also poor to marginal over most of western central Idaho. Transport winds will be from the west-southwest at 5-10 mph.

Improvement of air quality is expected to continue today with light smoke possible from Boise to Riggins and east through the Salmon River Corridor to Salmon. This evening, regional smoke is expected over the Middle and Upper Snake River Plain; however concentrations will be light in comparison to previous readings. Tomorrow, expect impacts to be localized to central Idaho, the Big, Little, and Lemhi drainages into the northern periphery of the Upper Snake River Plain. Lofted smoke is expected to cover the northern Panhandle tomorrow as smoke from fires in Washington become more active today.

DEQ Air Quality Forecast and Cautions:                      

There are no advisories currently in effect.

Check our outdoor open burning map for burning restrictions by county here.

Monitoring

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.

Health Impacts and Recommendations

For general health questions regarding wildfire smoke, contact:
Colby D. Adams, PhD
Environmental Health Program Manager
Idaho Division of Public Health
Office: 208-334.4964
colby.adams@DHW.Idaho.gov
450 W State St, Boise ID 83720
Wildfire Smoke and Your Health

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.

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Staff Contacts

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

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
Shawn Sweetapple
DEQ Coeur d'Alene Regional Office
2110 Ironwood Parkway
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
(208) 666-4602
shawn.sweetapple@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
Philip Hagihara
DEQ Lewiston Regional Office
1118 "F" St.
Lewiston, ID 83501
(208) 799-4370
philip.hagihara@deq.idaho.gov

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

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.

Related Pages

Particulate Matter

Wildland Fires

Air Pollution Emergencies