National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

NWS Billings Product Service Change Notification (SCN) Page:

Effective on or about May 4, 2021, the NWS Billings, MT office will have the capability to issue an Air Quality Alert (AQA) text product for Wildfire Smoke as part of a statewide collaborative effort with the Wyoming Health Department, Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, and Air Quality Division (AQD) when moderate to heavy smoke conditions are occurring or forecast in north central Wyoming. 

The following conditions must be met:

  1. Level 3 Smoke - Heavy Smoke is forecast by Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) (Forecast Issued 10:30-11:30 AM Monday-Friday, June through September), or 
  2. Equipment Monitors reach 25 ug/m^3 hourly concentrations for PM2.5 (Anytime), or
  3. Localized on-the-ground smoke is observed (Anytime)

The NWS Billings text product will be sent under the AQABYZ identifier for Sheridan County Wyoming Forecast Zones WY198 and WY199.  

Example text for the Air Quality Alert due to Wildfire Smoke will be similar to:


The following message is transmitted on behalf of the Wyoming Department of
Environmental Quality, Air Quality Division and the Wyoming Department of Health.

WHAT...Air Quality Alert for Wildfire Smoke.

WHERE...North Central Wyoming, Sheridan County.

WHEN...Until Midnight Friday night. 

IMPACTS...Smoke from widespread wildfire activity across the western United States has been observed
across north central Wyoming. 

HEALTH INFORMATION...The Wyoming Department of Health recommends the elderly, young
children, and individuals with respiratory problems avoid excessive physical exertion and
minimize outdoor activities during this time. Wildfire smoke is made up of a variety of pollutants,
including particulate matter and ozone, which can cause respiratory health effects. Although
these people are most susceptible to health impacts, the Department of Health also advises that
everyone should avoid prolonged exposure to poor air quality conditions.

CURRENT CONDITIONS...The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Air Quality
Division offers near real-time air quality data from Wyoming's monitoring stations and provides health
effects information to help the public interpret current conditions. Current air quality conditions
across the state of Wyoming can be found at