Wildfire smoke and air quality, September 5, 2017

(UPDATED at 9:08 p.m. MDT September 5, 2017)

Here is the latest version of NOAA’s wildfire smoke tracking analysis, created at 5:36 MDT September 5, 2017.

Wildfire smoke map
Wildfire smoke map, created at 5:36 p.m. MDT September 5, 2017. NOAA.

Below is an animated version of a smoke forecast for Tuesday through Wednesday.

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(Updated at 5:47 p.m. MDT September 5, 2017)

Forecast for wildfire smoke
Forecast for wildfire smoke at 4 p.m. MDT September 7, 2017. By BlueSky.
Wildfire smoke Map
Wildfire smoke. Map created at 1:37 p.m. MDT September 5, 2017.

Here are two satellite photos of the Western United States. The first was taken on September 4 and the second was today, September 5.

satellite photo smoke wildfire
Satellite photo showing wildfire smoke, 4:17 p.m. MDT September 4, 2017. Click to enlarge.
satellite photo smoke wildfire
Satellite photo showing wildfire smoke, 12:42 p.m. MDT September 5, 2017.
Air Quality Index wildfire smoke
The AirNow map shows the Air Quality Index (combined particulates and ozone) at 8 a.m. MDT September 5, 2017.

Smoke from wildfires in the northwest United States is having a serious affect on some locations in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Other areas east and southeast of these states have also been affected in recent days.

An updated version of the smoke maps we have been posting this week is not available yet Tuesday morning at 9:36 a.m. MDT. We will add it to this article when it is. We checked a couple of other wildfire smoke sites and they are also not producing updated information.

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(UPDATE at 1:10 p.m. MDT September 5, 2017)

Here is a link to an animation from satellite images that shows smoke being blown around the west. It might take a while to load. Be patient.

We checked more smoke sites and found one that is still working. Below is the forecast for smoke at 3 p.m. MDT September 5, 2017.

Smoke forecast, 3 p.m. MDT September 5, 2017
Smoke forecast, 3 p.m. MDT September 5, 2017

Satellite photo, wildfires and smoke, September 4, 2017

The satellite photo above from September 4, 2017 shows smoke created by wildfires. The red dots represent heat on the fires detected by the satellite at 1:05 p.m. MDT September 4, 2017. You can see the smoke streaming away from the fires.

Heavy smoke continues to spread across northwest and north-central US

Heavy smoke is being tracked in 12 states.

Above: Wildfire smoke map, 5:24 a.m. MDT September 4, 2017. The icons represent the locations of some of the large uncontained wildfires.

(Originally published at 10:50 a.m. MDT September 4, 2017)

The smoke from wildfires in Montana, Idaho, and the northwest United States is producing worsening conditions in the northwest and northcentral United States.

The locations that NOAA classified as having “heavy” smoke concentrations at 5:25 a.m. Monday included areas in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas.

According to the National Interagency Coordination Center, there are 58 large uncontrolled fires, but that does not count the 29 fires being managed under a less than full suppression strategy. NICC says to date 7.6 million acres have burned, compared to the 10-year average of 5.4 million acres.

Dozens of wildfires very active in Montana and Idaho

Above: Wildfires in Montana and Idaho September 3, 2017. The map shows heat detected by a satellite during the 24-hour period ending at 10 p.m. MDT September 3, 2017.

(Originally published at 5:47 a.m. MDT September 4, 2017.)

Residents in eastern Montana and northern Idaho have been living with wildfires that are nearby for a couple of months and the situation continues today. Dozens of large fires are still eating up the acreage and creating heavy smoke and sometimes “unhealthy” air quality according to the monitoring services of the EPA and other organizations.

Wildfire smoke affects northwestern and central United States

In Rapid City, South Dakota the visibility Sunday afternoon was 2.5 miles, and was even less in Hot Springs.

Above: The map shows the distribution of smoke from wildfires. The smoke from wildfires in Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and California is being distributed widely across the country.

(Originally published at 9:35 p.m. MDT September 3, 2017.)

After having been on the road for a week and a half I flew in to Rapid City late Sunday afternoon. As we began to descend to the airport the pilot came on the PA system to give their typical information about the last leg of the flight and the weather conditions in the destination city. He said smoke was reducing the visibility to 2.5 miles at Rapid and guessed that it was due to fires in the Black Hills.

But it was actually coming from much farther away —  most of it probably from Montana and Idaho, but Oregon, Washington, and California are also producing large quantities of the stuff.

satellite photo smoke fires
Satellite photo showing smoke created by wildfires September 3, 2017. The red dots represent heat detected by the satellite at 3:04 p.m. MDT September 3, 2017.

The AirNow map below shows large sections of several states with “unhealthy” air quality: South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon, and California. Oregon and California have the distinction of “very unhealthy” air in some areas.

 

smoke wildfires map
AirNow map showing air quality at 8:34 p.m. MDT September 3, 2017.