Earlier this summer, northwest winds were welcomed by Boise area residents. That's because those winds pushed out smoke that was draining into the Valley from fires to the east and south.
Now northwest winds are bringing smoke from the Wesley and Sheep fires burning northwest of New Meadows and McCall.
At 1 p.m., several air quality gauges in the Valley were indicating pollutant levels in the moderate, or yellow range, with the highest particulates recorded at Boise Fire station #5 on 16th Street. Gauges at Meridian and Nampa were also slightly into the moderate range.
At about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, smoke in Boise had reduced visibility to about 4 to 5 miles, according to the National Weather Service. Once again, the Foothills are obscured by the all-too-familiar haze.
Don't expect the air quality to improve too much tonight. The good news is winds are expected to shift direction Thursday afternoon.
"We're looking for the winds to switch to the south," National Weather Service meteorologist Valerie Mills said. That should push some of the smoke out of the area.