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

Smoke Over Montana Could Get Worse Before It Gets Better

Air quality is poor across Montana due to wildfires burning in the western U.S.
Montana DEQ
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Air quality is poor across Montana due to wildfires burning in the western U.S.

Smoke levels across most of Montana spiked today, with air quality readings reaching "Very Unhealthy" in several locations, including Missoula, Great Falls, and the Flathead Valley; and reaching the highest warning level, "Hazardous" in Hamilton.

Meteorologist Kristen Martin with Montana Department of Environmental Quality says the smoke could get even worse before it starts to get better over the weekend.

"It's possible. We've got increasing winds ahead of a cold front moving through tomorrow so we could see increased fire activity and increasing concentrations over the next 24 hours before we hopefully see some improvement during the day tomorrow," Martin says.

The weather forecast calls for a cold front to roll through the region Saturday afternoon, bringing winds gusting up to 30 miles an hour, and lower temperatures, with high humidity.

Montana air quality info can be found any time at the Montana DEQ website.

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