With the onset of the thunderstorm season in parched southern Idaho, the clean air is probably gone for the summer. I took the photo below June 9this year. It is of the Lost River Range from Copper Basin.

It is very hazy today in Pocatello, Idaho today due to all the wildfires lightning ignited yesterday. Just got a call from Stanley — very smoky there too. You can check for air clarity by clicking on the web cams I have linked to. I notice today that a number of them show degraded air quality.

The air may not be this clear again until late September. The photo is a medium telephoto.

Photo copyright Ralph Maughan. Lost River Range. East Central Idaho. This is a telephoto shot taken from Copper Basin.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

4 Responses to Clean air gone for the summer in Idaho?

  1. Vielfrass says:


    I have never been more concerned about an environmental issue in my life. It is the aerosol spraying program that our goverment it doing (some call it “chemtrails” – not an accurate term). Maybe it is not big in Idaho yet, but I see it in almost every place I visit. If there are 4-5 planes at once laying them down, the whole sky will be a mess in an hour or two. Do these fine particles magically disappear? No! That’s why our visibility is so bad everywhere!! Please learn about this issue and contact your representatives. This is the biggest threat to our environment and your personal health.

  2. Layton says:

    You could be right on the money Ralph, I talked to a guy that works fires for the Payette Nat’l this AM — he said they have at least 15 “spots” going on the West side after the lightning on Thurs.

    Going to be a long hot summer.


  3. Mikeh says:

    19 fires just started on the Bitterroot from lightning.

    Ouch. Looks like the entire area could use some relief from the heat, and some rain.

  4. Mike Lommler says:

    Yes, we’ve had some record heat in Montana. Supposedly it hit 107 yesterday in Missoula. Since I don’t use AC in my apartment, I can certainly believe it.



‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey