Western Montana air quality worsens

Posted at 4:16 PM, Aug 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-22 09:17:15-04

MISSOULA – It’s getting harder to breathe in some Western Montana valleys this afternoon, as smoke from both regional fires and blazes closer to home continues to accumulate.

Air quality was already marginal at some locations Friday morning. But the smoke has been building throughout the day, cutting air quality and visibility as registered at many of the Montana DEQ gauges.

In Missoula, the air was actually “unhealthy for sensitive groups” for a time before sunrise and has continued to fluctuate just above the threshold for “moderate” air quality.

Air is “unhealthy for sensitive groups” in the west end of the Missoula Valley at Frenchtown, and in Libby. And smoke has been building in the Flathead throughout the day, where it’s also a hazard for children, the elderly and people with respiratory problems.