Smoke from California wildfires could be headed to heat-choked Boise, forecasts show

Smoke from California wildfires could be headed to heat-choked Boise, forecasts show



Smoke from wildfires burning in Northern California could be headed to Boise on Thursday evening, potentially affecting air quality in a valley that’s experiencing a heatwave, according to the National Weather Service.

Bill Wojcik, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Boise office, said in a phone interview that the smoke is coming from fires north of Redding, including the 17,000-acre Lava Fire and the 8,000-acre Tennant Fire.

“Both (of the fires) are in timber, that’s why they’re putting out a lot of smoke,” Wojcik said.

By Wednesday afternoon, the Lava Fire was 19% contained, while the Tennant Fire was only 5% contained, according to InciWeb, an interagency wildfire tracking website.

Satellite smoke modeling images show smoky air swirling up from the Redding area into Central Oregon before heading east to the Idaho Panhandle and south to the Treasure Valley. The worst of it appears to bypass the Boise area, but Wojcik said it’s too early to know exactly where the smoke will end up.

If the fires continue to burn at their current rate, Wojcik said, smoke could roll into the Treasure Valley by Thursday evening or Friday morning. He said the smoke could be trapped in the valley, but some of the air pollution could stay in upper levels of the atmosphere, affecting the appearance of the sky without significant impact on air quality in the lower levels of the atmosphere.

According to the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality’s air quality index, the current air quality in the Treasure Valley is “moderate,” the second-lowest level of air pollution. DEQ forecasts show the area remaining in the moderate category through Friday.

Temperatures in the Boise area continue to exceed 100 degrees as a heatwave remains in place across the Northwest. The high is expected to be 102 on Thursday and 103 on Friday.

Author: John Hanno

Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Bogan High School. Worked in Alaska after the earthquake. Joined U.S. Army at 17. Sergeant, B Battery, 3rd Battalion, 84th Artillery, 7th Army. Member of 12 different unions, including 4 different locals of the I.B.E.W. Worked for fortune 50, 100 and 200 companies as an industrial electrician, electrical/electronic technician.

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