Smoke from wildfires burning in Canada is just adding to the already smoky conditions with air quality in most of Missoula County ranging from Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups to Unhealthy on Friday morning.
While the Lolo Peak Fire hasn't been showing particularly aggressive behavior lately, local health officials say it's still creating smoke that's been pooling in the Lolo area Florence hasn't been hit as hard as Lolo, but there is still a lot of smoke in the area, according to Sarah Coefield with the Missoula City-County Health Department.
The air quality was listed as Unhealthy in Lolo, Florence, and Missoula on Friday morning. The Arlee area is also dealing with being in the sights of smoke from the Liberty fire and was also seeing Unhealthy air quality.
When air quality is Unhealthy, people with heart or lung disease, smokers, children and the elderly should limit heavy or prolonged exertion and limit time spent outdoors.
The air quality was once again listed as Hazardous in Seeley Lake on Friday morning with Coefield noting that this makes nine Hazardous air quality mornings in the past 11 days for Seeley Lake. Coefield added that the levels in the Seeley Lake area are well beyond the cutoff for Hazardous.
The Health Department recommended earlier this week that Seeley Lake residents get out of the smoke if they are able to. The Red Cross Shelter in the Potomac Valley is on standby and can be ready to go with an hour's notice. Anyone seeking to stay at the shelter may call the Red Cross of Montana at 1-800-272-6668.
When air quality is Hazardous, all people should limit or avoid outdoor exertion and leave the area or stay indoors with filtered air when possible.
Coefield doesn't expect to see much improvement in air quality on Friday pointing out that "the Canadian smoke is relentless and will continue to be pulled into our breathing space throughout the afternoon."
The air quality was listed as Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups on Friday morning in the Hamilton, Libby and Thompson Falls areas. Click here to view the latest air quality readings from across Montana.