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Canadian wildfires affecting air quality in Missoula

Posted at 5:24 PM, May 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-30 19:53:40-04

MISSOULA – Wildfires in the province of Alberta have worsened the air quality here in Missoula.

With a lack of any major wildfires going on in the state of Montana this week’s air quality was good, until Wednesday night when shifting wind patterns brought in this Canadian smoke.

Air quality went from good to moderate, which means it shouldn’t affect everyone and even people with air quality sensitivities.

This drop in air quality could still affect some people though and if you start experiencing symptoms you should seek medical care.

“And some people at this level will actually be affected by the change. They might get a headache. People who are at risk are small children people with a pre-existing condition, COPD and the main thing we try to tell these people who are sensitive to the smoke is reduce your activities,” said Ben Schmidt, Air Quality Specialist for the Missoula City County Health Department. “Reduce your exertion a little bit. One of the biggest things you can do, especially when the smoke gets worse, is get an air cleaner and put that in a room that you are spending a lot of time. It creates a clean air space for you and actually can do a lot to help alleviate your symptoms and just make you feel better.”

Schmidt said that the weekend is expected to bring some better air quality into the Missoula area.