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Old 12-10-2012, 03:39 PM
31 posts, read 91,021 times
Reputation: 29


How did the smoke affect your life overall this last summer? I was there at the end of Sept. I went to a park overlook on the east side and from that point looking down it was bad.....like dense smog. Forecast is saying that the entire western US including Idaho will have fires for many years to come because of climate change (with less rain and snow in the mountains) and smoke in low lying areas like Boise will be the norm....that it will get worse each year. So my question is what is local media saying if anything. Are there some long term health risks to consider before making a move there that you may have heard or be cautioned about?
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:40 PM
278 posts, read 864,399 times
Reputation: 221
I think the reality is that no one knows what the future holds. This past year was the worst year most people can remember for smoke in the valley. August and September were terrible for air quality on most days. Small mountain towns near the fires had it way worse. The only way it affected my life was causing me to stay inside on a couple of days and not hiking in the mountains much after the start of August.

My opinion is that raging fires like this past summer can't happen every year, even with climate change. There just isn't enough forest to sustain that indefinitely. The areas that burned this summer can't burn like that again for some time (50 years?), and the fires this year were slowed dramatically when the reached areas of forest that had already burned 10-20 years ago. Part of the reason fires are bad now is due to the suppression efforts in the 20th century. As overgrown forests get restored to more normal fuel densities, I believe things will moderate.

In short, I don't expect it to be too much different in the future than it is now. Some years the fires will be bad, some years there will be hardly any. It shouldn't affect your decision to live here at all unless having some smoky days in the summer every few years is too much to bear.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:41 PM
Location: The Pacific Northwest
283 posts, read 491,942 times
Reputation: 460
Well, I don't see how the forecasters you mentioned can really say with any degree of accuracy that there will be smoke in the Treasure Valley for years to come. LOL.
I mean, yeah, sure, we're going through a cycle of warmer and drier weather, but it takes more than that to cause smoke in Boise, right? Ya have to have the wildfires to emit that smoke, and those are caused by stupid humans, usually. And that cannot be predicted.
Having said that: this past summer was truly awful. I spent most of the summer physically nauseated when I was outside from the smoke. Worse than LA on its worst day. If I knew all Boise summers for the next few years were gonna be like this years's "Summer of Smoke" I would move. Life's too short to deal with conditions that bad. Some days this past summer were truly apocalyptic.
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