Wildfire smoke creates “unhealthy” air in the Northwest U.S. Wednesday

(UPDATED at 4:28 p.m. MDT September 6, 2017)

Map wildfire smoke
Map showing the distribution of wildfire smoke. The map was created by NOAA at 1:36 p.m. MDT September 6, 2017.

The map above showing the distribution of wildfire smoke was created at 1:36 p.m. today, Wednesday. You may notice a difference between it and the other maps below that were produced earlier Wednesday morning.

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(Originally published at 9:40 a.m. MDT September 6, 2017. We will update this information through the day on Wednesday September 6.)

Air Quality Index for the northwestern states
Air Quality Index for the northwestern states at 8 a.m. MDT September 6, 2017. AirNow.

The siege of wildfires in the Northwestern United States that has persisted for several weeks continues to produce air that humans and other animals should not breathe. On Wednesday air quality classified as “unhealthy”, “very unhealthy”, or “hazardous” exists in some areas of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.

More detailed information about locations in the following states is available from Airnow.gov:

Air Quality Index
Air Quality Index at 7 a.m. MDT September 6, 2017. AirNow.
Description of Air Quality Index (AQI) categories
Description of Air Quality Index (AQI) categories. The colors may not match those used on all maps and systems, but the category names and the actual AQI numbers should hopefully be the same.
smoke forecast pm2.5
Forecast for maximum concentrations of small particles (PM 2.5) such as those found in wildfire smoke, for September 6, 2017. BlueSky.

The image below is the forecast for small particles (PM 2.5) such as those found in wildfire smoke, for September 8, 2017.

smoke forecast
Forecast for small particles (PM 2.5) such as those found in wildfire smoke, for the Northwest at 2 p.m. PDT September 8, 2017. BlueSky.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, Bill Gabbert now writes about it from the Black Hills. Google+

1 thought on “Wildfire smoke creates “unhealthy” air in the Northwest U.S. Wednesday”

  1. There is a huge disconnect between health warnings for the general public and recognition of the health effects air polluted by wildfires has on firefighters. If air quality is so bad miles from a major fire that “Everyone should avoid all outdoor exertion.” why is it so hard to get the results of this exposure on firefighters recognized by the people who direct them into an environment where air quality can be worse than “Hazardous” and the very nature of their jobs requires exertion?

    “Wildfire Today” has rightfully campaigned for this recognition. I suggest when you publish these articles, a comment comparing these conditions to the actual conditions faced by crews fighting fires should be included.

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