Out-of-state smoke rolls into western Montana

Posted at 6:47 AM, Aug 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-22 09:17:17-04

MISSOULA – The smoky haze pooling into western Montana has put a damper on our recent summer skies.

“What we’re seeing right now is smoke that is pretty high overhead, that has come in from fires burning in California and Oregon,” said Missoula City-County Air Quality Specialist Sarah Coefield.

She says there may be some from Washington and Idaho as well, but these local conditions are being largely fueled by devastating blazes burning southwest of Montana.

Coefield says this smoky haze actually isn’t as bad as it looks and because the smoke hasn’t quite settled down to the ground, air quality conditions haven’t changed.

Air quality remains moderate in most of western Montana which means that folks who experience health effects in these moderate conditions need to be aware.

“There are certainly some folks that even at moderate air quality may be experiencing some health effects. Some people are extremely susceptible to the fine particulate in smoke, so if you are experiencing any health effects from smoke, certainly follow any medication plans, or self-care plans that you have,” Coefield said.

The haze is not expected to stick around for long thanks to a changing weather pattern that’s expected to push this out-of-state smoke out of our area over the weekend.

Click here to check out the latest air quality readings from across Montana.