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Air quality unhealthy for sensitive groups in Missoula

Posted at 3:56 PM, May 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-31 19:48:24-04

MISSOULA – Smoke from very large wildfires in Alberta Canada continue to drift across Western Montana, which is causing air quality issues.

More than two dozen fires are burning in Alberta. The Chuckegg Creek Fire in northern Alberta has burned 568,000 acres so far.

Air quality in Missoula, Seeley Lake, Helena and Butte is unhealthy for sensitive groups Friday afternoon. Air quality is moderate in the Flathead, Thompson Falls, Frenchtown and Hamilton.

When air quality is Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups, people with heart or lung disease, children and the elderly should limit prolonged outdoor exertion. Anyone experiencing symptoms of heart or lung disease associated with smoke exposure should contact their health care provider.

Missoula Health Department Air Quality Specialist Ben Schmidt says air quality may still improve later Friday afternoon if the smoke starts to lift. The smoke may linger through the weekend, but we should be back to good air quality by Monday. This is weather dependent, so there are no guarantees on this.