Posted: Aug 13, 2012 8:32 AM by Dennis Bragg - KPAX News
MISSOULA- No air quality alerts have been issued yet, but the Missoula and Bitterroot valleys are receiving another strong dose of smoke this morning from the latest fires that started over the weekend in Idaho.
Visibility has been reduced this morning around Missoula and south to Hamilton. However, the automated air quality readings were still showing air quality in the "good" range in both Missoula and Hamilton. That could change as samples are taken throughout the day. But for now, Missoula and Ravalli counties haven't issued any advisories or warnings.
(photo from the First Security Bank Eyecam in downtown Hamilton)
The same is true in Seeley Lake, where readings this morning show the air quality to still be "good", although the particulate count has been on the rise since midnight.Air quality in the Flathead also remains within the "good" range as of Monday morning.
Conditions could worsen over the next day or so, with active fires continuing to burn on national forest and state lands in Idaho. Friday's lightning storms started several new fires on the Salmon-Challis National Forest, as well as the Clearwater, Nez Pearce and Sawtooth. Some afternoon winds, and then a change in the weather mid-week should help scoop the smoke out of the valleys throughout Western Montana.