Green air: The Treasure Valley and much of Southwestern and Central Idaho got a welcome break from smoke Monday thanks to weekend rain. The Boise area had its first green day on the air quality index since Sept. 15. Mountain towns like Idaho City, McCall and Salmon also had markedly better air Monday.
Will it last? Likely not, but experts hope it wont get as bad in the Treasure Valley as it was last week, when the air quality came close to the red (unhealthy for everybody) level. The Department of Environmental Quality is predicting another green day Tuesday, but smoke levels are expected to increase later this week.
Why? Too many wildfires are still burning all over the West, including the fires in Oregon and Washington that keep dumping smoke into Idaho, said Ed Delgado, the Predictive Services manager for the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise. The weekend rain was mostly in Idaho, and even that wasnt nearly enough to put out the huge wildfires here. Falls longer nights, lower temperatures and higher humidity should help slow down the fires, but theyll burn and produce smoke for a while, Delgado said.
Whats next? Long-range forecasts dont show much rain, so Treasure Valley residents should expect smoke to creep back in. But enjoy the next few days, since winds from the west should be light.