No break from wildfire smoke in Western Montana

Posted: August 9, 2017



Wildfire smoke is continuing to impact the air quality across WesternMontana.

While most of Missoula County had generally Moderate air quality Tuesday morning, thicker smoke is trapped in the Arlee, Lolo and Seeley Lake valleys.

Seeley Lake continues to see the most significant smoke impacts where the air quality was listed as Hazardous on Tuesday Morning. When air quality is Hazardous, all people should limit or avoid outdoor exertion and stay indoors when possible.

Sara Coefield from the Missoula City-County Health Department says that conditions in Seeley Lake will once again rapidly improve when the inversion breaks.

Air quality was listed as Unhealthy in Arlee and Lolo on Tuesday morning.  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.

Smoke from the Lolo Peak and Little Hogback fires was impacting Lolo’s air quality Tuesday morning. The fires were active overnight and the smoke became trapped in drainages that empty into the Lolo area, according to Coefield.

Lolo should see improved air quality by Tuesday afternoon when the inversion breaks and should also benefit from some northerly winds that will help push smoke out of the valley.

The air quality in the Hamilton and Libby areas was listed as Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups on Tuesday. Active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.

Click here for the latest on air quality from across Montana.