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Prescribed burns impacting Flathead Valley air quality

Posted at 7:00 PM, Oct 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-15 10:49:00-04

WHITEFISH — The air quality in northwest Montana is down as burn season continues.

According to the Department of Environmental Quality's website, Libby and Thompson Falls are currently at moderate air quality as a result of ongoing prescribed burns.

Carrie Bates, director of the respiratory department at North Valley Hospital, noticed the burns were affecting some highly sensitive patients.

Bates says those with lung conditions like COPD or asthma should keep their doors and windows shut to prevent unwanted particles produced from the controlled burns to get inside your home.

She also tells MTN some suggestions for those struggling with air quality right now.

“If they have to go out, they can either put a scarf over their mouth and nose, or a handkerchief or something like that to filter some of those larger particles so they don’t get into the lungs and cause that irritation" Bates said.

Open burn season lasts until the end of November.

DEQ reminds people to ensure there are no restrictions before burning, and to make sure you obtain a burn permit.