Protecting Public Health and the Environment.

Current Wildfire Smoke Info

Smoke Outlook Summary

Thursday, August 16

Conditions are expected to remain deteriorated across the Panhandle and central Idaho today. Southern Idaho is expected to continue to see Moderate conditions into tomorrow prior to the advance of an upper level disturbance. Air quality forecasts across the state are in the Moderate to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups category today.

Smoke impacts today are expected to be greatest over the Panhandle and south to the Grangeville area with lesser impacts over south-central and eastern Idaho. The southwest looks to receive the lowest values but still will see inflated numbers due to regional smoke. The highest values should be expected within the valleys and drainages from the Canadian border within the Purcell Trench and south along the western border of Idaho/Washington into the Clearwater drainages into the Palouse. Smoke over the central Idaho mountains will track east but should miss Salmon this afternoon and stay to the south; however, smoke is expected to drain into the Salmon-Challis regions this evening. Expect higher readings in the morning and evening, while lifting is expected during the late afternoon before settling again in the evening. This evening, expect smoke to stay within the Salmon River drainages and west to Riggins. Look for local nighttime impacts in the vicinity of McCall. The Panhandle will also be heavily impacted this evening with smoke settling within the Purcell Trench down into Spokane, while the Clearwater looks to experience lesser impacts.

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

Smoke forecast 081618
This model is forecasting smoke to impact the Central Idaho Mountains and the northern Magic Valley as well as locally high concentrations over the Panhandle.
HRRR-Smoke: Near surface smoke forecast initialized 06 UTC 08/16/2018 and valid 18 UTC (12pm MDT) 08/16/2018.
Data Source: NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory

DEQ Air Quality Forecast and Cautions                     

  • DEQ Coeur d'Alene Regional Office has extended a Forecast and Caution for Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai, and Shoshone counties.
  • DEQ Lewiston Regional Office has extended a Forecast and Caution for Clearwater, Idaho, Latah, Lewis, and Nez Perce counties, river corridors, and surrounding areas off the Nez Perce Reservation.

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

DEQ Air Quality Reports and Forecasts

Check our regional reports and forecasts for information for your area here.

Check our county open burning map for information for your area here.


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
450 W State St, Boise ID 83720
Wildfire Smoke and Your Health

Visual Smoke Observation

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






Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups




Very Unhealthy

Less than 1


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

Air Quality Meteorologist
Jacob Wolf
DEQ State Office
Air Quality Division
1410 N. Hilton
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 373-0480

Air Quality Manager
David Luft
DEQ Boise Regional Office
1445 N. Orchard St.
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 373-0550

Air Quality Manager
Shawn Sweetapple
DEQ Coeur d'Alene Regional Office
2110 Ironwood Parkway
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
(208) 666-4602

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

Air Quality Manager
Philip Hagihara
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

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

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