Posted: Aug 31, 2012 10:31 AM by KPAX/KAJ Media Center
Updated: Aug 31, 2012 1:48 PM
MISSOULA- It just won't go away!
Smoke from large wildfires burning in Idaho, and other parts of the Pacific Northwest, continues to pour into Western Montana.
The Missoula City-County Health Department's Sarah Coefield says that Thursday's smoke was trapped in the valleys by an inversion overnight, and is still with us.
Missoula's air quality is currently "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups," which means those with heart or lung disease, smokers, children, and the elderly should limit prolonged exposure outside.
Coefield says Frenchtown has avoided most of the smoke, adding that conditions are currently moderate west of Missoula.
The smoke is generally thicker south of Missoula in the Bitterroot Valley, and there may be local areas that are considered "Unhealthy." Hamilton's air was considered "Unhealthy" as of Friday morning.
Coefield says in a press release that she thinks some of the smoke will "rise out of our breathing space as the morning goes on and the day starts to heat up."
But she added that because of the Idaho wildfires, more smoke may come our way Friday afternoon. There's a chance northwest winds this evening may push some of the smoke out of the area.
Click here to see the latest on air quality across Montana.