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

Air Quality Update for Western Montana, August 8, 2018

USDA Forest Service
Wednesday morning's fire detection map showing Washington's Crescent Mountain and Cougar Creek fire activity.

Today's air report courtesy of Missoula City-County Air Quality Specialist Ben Schmidt:

Under the current high pressure ridge the smoke started to stack up in the county earlier this week. Based on Tuesday's satellite imagery a lot of the smoke impacting Western Montana was from the Cougar Creek and Crescent Mountain fires of Washington, fires in northern Idaho, Canada and others. In the satellite pictures you could see the Washington smoke heading almost due east then take a hard right turn to travel south through western Montana.

Currently air quality is Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups in Seeley Lake while most of the county has Moderate air quality. We can expect hazy conditions and potentially more smoke on the valley floors into Friday this week with a decent chance of Good air quality by Saturday when a dry cold front moves through. As the smoke mixes down, air quality could become unhealthy for sensitive groups or worse over the next couple of days in Missoula County.

Be alert for changing conditions and bookmark Montana’s Today’s Air website so you can keep track of the smoke we’re seeing at our monitors:

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