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Wildfire, fire management and air quality news for western Montana and the Northern Rockies.

Air Quality Ratings Explained.

Montana air quality map.
Montana DNRC
Montana air quality map.

Generally hazy and smoky conditions with only temporary relief could be with us for quite some time given all the wildfires burning in Washington, Idaho and Montana.

The state of Montana's air quality meteorologist, Kristen Martin explains what those air quality ratings mean, and how air quality is measured.

Air Quality Ratings

Good: Air quality is considered good by the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. There's no reason to limit outdoor activities when air quality is good.

Moderate: Extremely sensitive populations may have trouble when air quality reaches moderate, but most people won't need to limit outdoor activities.

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups: People with respiratory issues will begin to have trouble when the air quality reaches this level. Sensitive groups should limit their outdoor activities.

Unhealthy: Sensitive groups should limit their outdoor activities significantly. The rest of the population should consider limiting outdoor activities.

Very Unhealthy: The majority of the population will notice air quality impacts and should limit outdoor activities.

Hazardous: Significant air quality impacts. Everyone should limit outdoor activities, and seek indoor areas with filtered air.

Find Montana air quality updates here.

O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the University of Montana School of Journalism. His first career job out of school was covering the 1995 Montana Legislature. When the session wrapped up, O’Brien was fortunate enough to land a full-time position at the station as a general assignment reporter. Feel free to drop him a line at
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