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Wildfire smoke knocks down Western Montana air quality

Missoula Air Quality
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Posted at 9:12 AM, Sep 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-12 16:22:26-04

MISSOULA - Wildfire smoke is once again filling our skies on Monday morning.

"Unhealthy" air quality was being seen across Missoula County on Monday and it was worse in Ravalli County where Hamilton was seeing "very unhealthy" air quality.

Missoula City-County Health Department (MCCHD) Air Quality Specialist Sarah Coefield said in an update at 9 a.m. that not much improvement is expected and people should "avoid outdoor exertion and clean your indoor air as best you can."

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Coefield advised people living or working in the Hamilton area "to avoid breathing the outdoor air as best you can" and to "consider using an N95 respirator" when outdoors.

When air quality is unhealthy, people with heart or lung disease, smokers, children and the elderly should limit heavy or prolonged exertion and limit time spent outdoors. People with asthma should follow their asthma management plan. People experiencing symptoms of heart or lung disease associated with smoke exposure should contact their healthcare provider.

When air quality is very unhealthy, people with heart or lung disease, smokers, children and the elderly should avoid heavy or prolonged exertion and stay indoors when possible, people with asthma should follow asthma management plan. People experiencing symptoms of heart or lung disease associated with smoke exposure should contact their healthcare provider. Everyone else should limit prolonged exertion and limit time spent outdoors.

Unhealthy air was also being reported Monday morning in the Flathead Valley, Libby, Thompson Falls, Frenchtown and Seeley Lake. The latest Montana air quality readings can be found at https://svc.mt.gov/deq/todaysair/.