You Can Blame Idaho’s Smoky Skies On California

Sep 18, 2014

Credit National Weather Service

The air quality in the Treasure Valley has dropped from good to moderate, thanks to a change in winds that’s bringing in smoke from the south. The National Weather Service in Boise reports the sudden influx of smoke into Idaho is due to a change in the wind pattern.

Meteorologist Les Colin says the winds are now coming from the southwest, bringing smoke from the Golden State. “There are several large wildfires in California; especially the King Fire which I understand expanded at least 50,000 acres yesterday from the day before that,” says Colin.

The fire started Saturday and grew by more than 40,000 acres on Wednesday. Close to 3,000 people have been evacuated because of the blaze.

Colin says the heavy smoke won’t last too long. “It’s coming in here now because we have southwest winds which are directly downstream from the fire,” Colin says, “but during the next 24 hours our winds will shift to more westerly and should improve our smoke situation here, at least partially.”

That should help with smoke from California, but Colin warns there are also fires burning in Oregon, which could bring in some smoke from the west, once the wind changes.

See how Idaho's air quality has fluctuated over the last several years, with this interactive.

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