Updated Noon MDT August 15, 2013
Valid through noon MDT August 16, 2013
Idaho DEQ is continuing a Stage 1 Forecast and Caution for Camas, Blaine, Elmore, and Boise Counties due to wildfire smoke.
The Ketchum/Hailey area is currently experiencing Hazardous air quality due to smoke from the Beaver Creek fire. Significant smoke impacts are expected to continue in the Ketchum/Hailey area through tomorrow morning. Air quality is forecasted to be in the Very Unhealthy with periods in the Hazardous.
The Mountain Home area is currently experiencing Unhealthy air quality due to smoke from the Elk Complex fire. Air quality is expected to improve this afternoon. However, the smoke is expected to move back into the Mountain Home area during the night. Tomorrow, air quality in the Mountain Home area is expected to be in the Unhealthy category, slightly better than today. Air quality is forecasted to be in the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups with periods in the Unhealthy to Very Unhealthy.
Sensitive groups such as people with heart and/or lung disease, adults over age 65, young children, and pregnant women should avoid all outdoor activities until air quality improves. Everyone else should minimize outdoor activities. When air quality is in the hazardous category (visibility of less than 1 mile) everyone should stay indoors and avoid exertion.
Light west-northwest winds will continue to transport smoke from the fires in Elmore County and near Fairfield towards the central Idaho mountains area, including areas in and around Stanley and Ketchum. Southeast Treasure Valley and Mountain Home areas are expected to have significant smoke impacts during the morning hours due to smoke from the Elk Complex fires. The smoke is expected to partially dissipate in the late afternoon today. However, the smoke will drain back into the areas tonight and tomorrow morning.
4 emergency monitors have been installed in Idaho to help monitor smoke impacts from wildfires:
· DEQ has installed a monitor in Fairfield. http://app.airsis.com/USFS/fleet.aspx Monitor #Idaho1000
· The USFS installed monitors in Lowman, Atlanta, and Challis. The information can be found at http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/smoke.pl
o Lowman monitor is Smoke#19
o Atlanta monitor is Smoke#13
o Challis monitor is Smoke#21
o Users should be aware that the Forest Service site reports the data in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). To convert from UTS to Mountain Daylight Time, subtract 6 hours.
View DEQ near-real time monitoring at: http://airquality.deq.idaho.gov/
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