Northwest Montana air quality still impacted by wildfire smoke

Posted at 8:53 AM, Aug 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-15 10:53:26-04

KALISPELL – An air quality alert remains in effect for Flathead, Lincoln, and Sanders counties through 8 a.m. on Thursday.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality was reporting poor air quality across the region on Wednesday morning.

The air quality in Libby was listed as "unhealthy" while Thompson Falls and Kalispell were ranked as "unhealthy for sensitive groups."

The poor air quality is coming from a combination of nearby fires and a large amount of smoke pouring in from Idaho, Washington, and British Columbia.

The DEQ reporting stations in Missoula and Ravalli counties were registering "moderate" air quality on Wednesday morning;.

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

The recommendations for outdoor activity based on air quality is as follows:

  • Good: No restrictions.
  • Moderate: Sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion.
  • Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups: People with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should limit prolonged exertion.
  • Unhealthy: People with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly, and children should avoid any outdoor activity; everyone else should avoid prolonged exertion.
  • Hazardous: Everyone should avoid any outdoor exertion; people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly, and children should remain indoors.

When the air quality is anything other than good, watch for symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath and reduce exertion.