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Search for Current Fire and Smoke Conditions in a city, state or area.
(e.g. "Seattle, WA", "Washington", "Smith River, CA")
Fire and Smoke Map: The EPA and USFS have created this map to test new data layers of use during fire and smoke events, including air quality data from low-cost sensors. While these sensors don’t meet the rigorous standards required for regulatory monitors, they can help you get a picture of air quality nearest you especially when wildfire smoke is in your area. The EPA and USFS will update the map layers several times during year, as we respond to feedback and work to improve the map.
See the User's Guide to learn more about Using the Map
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The Fire and Smoke Map displays information on ground level air quality monitors recording fine particulates (PM2.5) from smoke and other sources, as well as information on fires, smoke plume locations, and special statements about smoke issued by various sources.
This map is designed to:
A note about the Fire and Smoke Map:
U.S. EPA and U.S. Forest Service are conducting a pilot project to add data from air sensors to the Fire and Smoke Map. The data appear as a map layer called Low-Cost Sensors that users can turn off or on as needed. Sensor technology provides thousands of additional particle pollution data points that can be used to supplement the air monitoring stations operated by official air agencies. The sensor data undergoes QA screening, is averaged to hourly values, is corrected for bias, and has the EPA NowCast algorithm applied. This means that the sensor data can use the AQI color scale when it appears alongside the monitoring data that is already on the AirNow Fire and Smoke map. Sensor data is informational only. It will not be used for regulatory purposes.
This map is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Forest Service led Interagency Wildland Fire Air Quality Response Program (IWFAQRP) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Development work was done through an agreement with the University of Washington’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences. This site relies on data provided from a number of sources.
Project Lead: Sim Larkin, USFS
Lead Developer: Stuart Illson, UW
Additional Development: Jonathan Callahan, Mazama Science; Joel Dubowy, UW; Chris Wilkes, EPA
Steering Group:EPA: Phil Dickerson, Ron Evans, Lourdes Morales, Susan Stone, Alison Davis, Lori Tussey, Michelle Wayland, John E. White, Rob Wildermann; USFS: Pete Lahm
User Guide: Gina Wing, USFS; Marlin Martinez, UW
Additional Thanks: WIM Team (USGS); All those who provided feedback.
In 2021, several features have been added to the information available when you click or tap a monitor or sensor icon. We’ve added a dashboard that gives you quick access to key information you can use to help plan your activities:
EPA and USFS are continuing to pilot improvements to the map as we work toward our joint goal of sharing actionable information about wildfire smoke with the public. We welcome your feedback. Email us at email@example.com.
Air quality (PM2.5) information from official monitors is shown as circles, air quality (PM2.5) information from temporary monitors placed by agencies during smoke events is shown as triangles, air quality (PM2.5) information from low-cost sensors is shown as squares, large fire incidents as fire icons, satellite fire detections as small glowing points, and smoke plume locations as grey polygons. The location currently set is shown as a flashing blue circle.
Local Conditions Icons
Shows information about the currently set location of interest. Clicking on any of the icons will bring out the Location Condition Sidebar.
Map layers can be selected on the Map Layer Control in the Top Menu in the upper left of the map.
Air Quality (PM2.5) Layers:
Monitors and sensors reporting PM2.5 data can be turned off or on (all are on by default). Separate controls are given for:
Fire Information Layers:
Smoke Plume Layers:
Smoke Plume Layers:
Special Smoke Statements Layers:
The map will continue to display the data available at the time it was originally loaded. To refresh the data with the latest information press the button in the lower left corner or click on the prompt. Refreshing more frequently than every 15 minutes is generally not recommended.
A pull out sidebar showing conditions will appear when the Location Condition Icons or Location Dot Control are clicked. This sidebar shows the conditions nearby the set location of interest. To change where the location of interest is set click on the Location Dot Control or Search Control in the Top Menu in the upper right, or drag the blue dot on the map to the location of interest. The sidebar shows several different sets of information including air quality (PM2.5) conditions, nearby fires, nearby detected smoke plumes, and any special smoke statements issued for this location.
Air Quality (PM2.5): Fine particulate (PM2.5) air quality conditions are shown for both monitors (permanent and temporary) as well as low-cost sensors nearest the set location of interest. For monitors and sensors within 30 mi, the closest three monitors and sensors are shown. If no monitors are within 30 mi, the nearest monitor is shown. Click on one of the monitors to see the measurements and conditions at that monitor.
Fires: Local fire conditions indicate whether there is presence of a potential fire within a 150 mile radius of the user defined position (either set through geolocation or manually). Large fire incidents and satellite fire detections are shown. False detections have been known to occur. Presence as well as spatial measures such as distance and directionality should not be used for tactical decisions.
Smoke Plumes: Local smoke plume conditions indicate whether there is presence of a satellite detected smoke plume either at the user defined position (either set through geolocation or manually), or within a 150 mile radius. Presence as well as spatial measures such as distance and directionality should not be used for tactical decisions.
Special Smoke Statements: Smoke Outlooks issued by the Interagency Wildland Fire Air Quality Response Program’s Air Resource Advisors that apply to the location of interest will appear here. Click to view the Smoke Outlook.
The Fire and Smoke Map shows fine particulate (<2.5 micron, PM2.5) pollution data obtained from air quality monitors and sensors. Information is shown on both the EPA’s Air Quality Index scale, using the NowCast AQI algorithm, and also as hourly PM2.5 concentration values. For low-cost sensor data, a correction equation is also applied to mitigate bias in the sensor data.
The AQI is EPA’s index for reporting air quality. It tells you how clean or polluted your air is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for you. The AQI can be calculated for five major air pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act: ground-level ozone, particle pollution (also known as particulate matter), carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. See more information about the AQI.
The AQI used in the Fire and Smoke Map is specifically focused on fine particulate matter (PM) known as PM2.5. PM stands for particulate matter (also called particle pollution), the term for a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. PM2.5 specifically refers to fine inhalable particles, with diameters that are generally 2.5 micrometers and smaller. See more information about the PM2.5 or the Air Quality Guide for Particle Pollution
It is possible that ozone or PM10 could drive the local AQI in certain circumstances. To see a map that includes ozone and PM10 in addition to PM2.5, please see the AirNow Interactive Map.
NowCast refers to an algorithm that is applied to the hourly permanent, temporary, and sensor data when an estimate of the current hourly AQI is needed. The AQI for PM2.5 is a 24-hour average, so EPA uses an algorithm to estimate the current AQI based on multiple hours of past data. The NowCast uses longer averages during periods of stable air quality and shorter averages when air quality is changing rapidly, such as during a wildfire. However, the NowCast is not designed to react to changes that are shorter than a 3 hr period in duration.
See more information about the NowCast AQI.
PM stands for particulate matter (also called particle pollution), the term for a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. Some particles, such as dust, dirt, soot, or smoke, are large or dark enough to be seen with the naked eye. Others are so small they can only be detected using an electron microscope. PM2.5 specifically refers to fine inhalable particles, with diameters that are generally 2.5 micrometers and smaller. See more information about PM2.5 or the Air Quality Guide for Particle Pollution
|Daily AQI Color||Levels of Concern||Values of Index||Description of Air Quality|
|Green||Good||0 to 50||Air quality is satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk.|
|Yellow||Moderate||51 to 100||Air quality is acceptable. However, there may be a risk for some people, particularly those who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.|
|Orange||Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups||101 to 150||Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is less likely to be affected.|
|Red||Unhealthy||151 to 200||Some members of the general public may experience health effects; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.|
|Purple||Very Unhealthy||201 to 300||Health alert: The risk of health effects is increased for everyone.|
|Maroon||Hazardous||301 and higher||Health warning of emergency conditions: everyone is more likely to be affected.|
Note: Values above 500 are considered Beyond the AQI. Follow recommendations for the Hazardous category. Additional information on reducing exposure to extremely high levels of particle pollution is available here.
Learn More about the AQI, as well as the Air Quality Guide for Particle Pollution, and how to be Smoke Ready, including protective actions for wildland fire smoke.
The map displays 3 types of air quality monitors:
Clicking on any monitor or sensor will bring up a popup box that shows additional information for the unit including its:
The historical timeseries of values is shown for the past 10 days (when viewed on desktop displays) or 3 days (on mobile devices). Hovering over any particular hour on the timeseries shows the value. The user can zoom into a portion of the timeseries by clicking and selecting a section of the timeseries.
Permanent particulate monitors are owned and maintained by various entities, including: federal, state, tribal, and local agencies. These monitors are regulatory-grade, and the data they produce is of the highest quality.
Most monitors report out hourly. Data for permanent monitors is obtained through the EPA AirNow system which aggregates data feeds from a large number of agencies and organizations on an hourly basis. Data lag in transmission to AirNow is dependent on the specific monitor data transmission methodology and agency involved. Data is retrieved from AirNow every 3 min.Temporary Monitors
Temporary, portable particulate monitors are deployed near large, active wildfires by the US Forest Service and state and local agencies. Most monitors report out hourly.
Data for temporary monitors is obtained through the AirSis and the Western Regional Climate Center (WRCC) data feeds. Data is retrieved approximately every 15min, but the monitors themselves only report hourly aggregates based on the clock hour (e.g. 2-3pm). Further transmission lags, particularly with the GOES satellite transmissions processed by the WRCC can sometimes take several hours.Low-Cost Sensors
Low-Cost Sensors are portable, generally easier to operate than regulatory-grade monitors, and available on the commercial market. Most sensors report out every few minutes. Most sensors report out every few minutes. Most low-cost sensors do not have data quality that is comparable to the monitoring stations operated by air agencies. For the pilot, sensor data have been averaged to an hour, QA screened, corrected for bias, and NowCast.
Data for low cost sensors is currently obtained through the PurpleAir network with potentially other networks added in the future. The PurpleAir data has undergone QA screening.
PurpleAir data is collected every 2 min, but only displayed after aggregating to a calendar hour (e.g. 2-3pm) and processing through the correction factor and NowCast AQI algorithm. This processing can take up to 15 min. Additionally, the processing and time smoothing of the hourly aggregation and NowCast algorithm means that the PurpleAir data shown here will not respond as rapidly as the 10 min averages and other shorter term time averages available on the PurpleAir website. Work is ongoing to investigate best to include shorter term time averages or data updates on this map.
See Section 5. Data Limitations and Disclaimers for important limitations on the data shown.
Two types of fire information are presented on the map: large fire incidents and satellite fire detections.Large Fire Incident
Active large fire incidents from the U.S. National Interagency Fire Center’s active incident feed are presented as fire icons. Clicking on a fire displays information about the fire. Note that these incidents may not have updated for several days due to the nature of the reporting systems used. Additional information on these incidents is available through the Inciweb system (https://inciweb.nwcg.gov). While the information presented by this feed can be several days old, it does present important management information including the fire name, overall fire size, and containment.
Data is downloaded every 15 min.
Satellite fire detections are based on information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Hazard Mapping System (HMS). This is a combination of automated satellite detected “hotspots” from various satellites and human analyzed fire locations based on smoke plumes. Hotspot detections are based on higher than normal temperatures visible to the satellite from a location on the ground. This represents the detection of above normal temperatures, and does not necessarily reflect the presence of an actual wildland fire, as false detections have been known to occur. Additionally, depending on the satellite the specific location covered by the image pixel may be 1 or more kilometers in resolution. Additionally geolocation error can occur due to other reasons. For large fires, multiple satellite detections may occur for the same fire.
Data is downloaded every 15 minutes from the NOAA Hazard Mapping System (HMS), but HMS updates can sometimes take a few hours to occur.
Smoke plume locations are based on information from the NOAA Hazard Mapping System based on polygons drawn around smoke detected in satellite imagery. In general this represents the presence of smoke in the overall column of air at those locations. However, it may not correspond to smoke being present at ground level; the smoke could be aloft instead. Additionally it will not represent smaller smoke plumes or smoke plumes otherwise not detected by the satellite images (e.g. due to cloud cover, or because they have occurred after the satellite image was taken).
Data is downloaded every 15 minutes from the NOAA Hazard Mapping System (HMS), but HMS updates can sometimes take a few hours to occur.
Whenever the location of interest is within the area of a Special Smoke Statement, a banner is displayed notifying the user and the Special Smoke Statement section of the Sidebar will also display this information. Clicking the link takes the user to the Special Smoke Statement (or to a list if there is more than one). Currently the map only displays as Special Smoke Statements smoke outlooks produced by deployed U.S. Interagency Wildland Fire Air Quality Response Program Air Resource Advisors, but the inclusion of additional smoke outlooks and forecasts are being investigated. The boundaries of areas with smoke outlooks can be turned on the Map Layer Control.
U.S. Interagency Wildland Fire Air Quality Response Program smoke outlooks are retrieved every 5 min.
EPA and USFS are conducting a pilot project to add data from low-cost sensors to the Fire and Smoke map. While these sensors don’t meet the rigorous standards required for regulatory monitors, they can help you get a picture of air quality nearest you – especially when wildfire smoke is in your area. Use the map layer icon in the upper righthand corner of the map to turn on information from AirNow monitors, USFS temporary monitors, and sensors. EPA and USFS may update the sensor map layer several times during the pilot project, as we respond to feedback and work to improve the map.
Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on the pilot effort by USFS and EPA to add a sensor data layer to the Fire and Smoke Map. Please email feedback and suggestions to
Please email feedback to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Download a complete PDF Version of the User's Guide - Coming Soon
For more information about the Fire & Smoke Map Service please contact email@example.com
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