Health News

Aug 27, 2012 11:14 AM by Mark Thorsell - KPAX News

Western Montana air quality warning issued

MISSOULA- The smoke that's been filling Western Montana's valleys over the weekend has continued into Monday morning, prompting local health officials to issue a warning about Missoula County's air quality.

Ben Schmidt with the Missoula City-County Health Department reports that the air quality in Missoula, Frenchtown, Seeley Lake and Condon is considered to be "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups."

The warning means those with heart or lung disease, smokers, children, and the elderly should limit prolonged exposure, according to a news release.

Schmidt adds the cumulative air quality in Missoula is considered toi be "Unhealthy," meaning folks with heart or lung disease, smokers, children and the elderly should limit heavy or prolonged exertion, as well as limit their time spent outdoors.

The smoke intrusion is being traced to several fire burning in Idaho, as well as other parts on the Pacific Northwest. Schmidt says the conditions may improve a little Monday afternoon as warmer temperatures life the smoke out of our breathing space.

(photo from the First Security Bank Eyecam in Hamilton as of 9 a.m. Monday.)

However, periods of smoke are expected to continue in Missoula County through the beginning of the week, with a chance the smoke will clear out around mid-week. Barring new fires starting up, most of the Idaho smoke will likely continue to stay south of Missoula in the Bitterroot Valley, according to Schmidt's Monday morning report.

The air quality being monitoring site in Hamilton was reporting that the air was "Moderate" as of 8 a.m. Monday according to the Ravalli County website.

Click here for more the most current information on air quality around Montana.

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