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

New Website Aims To Help Montanans Deal With Wildfire Smoke

A screen capture from, 08-16-18.

A brand-new website consolidates statewide air quality conditions and serves as a resource for Montanans concerned about the impacts of wildfire smoke. is now live and made possible by a small Missoula-based non-profit called Climate Smart Missoula.

Amy Climburg is Climate Smart’s executive director.

“So you might find today’s air quality in one place, but not much about what are the health risks or what to do," Climburg says. "We learned lots last year, and over the course of years, and have some really specific recommendations for how to stay healthy. It’s a combination of what’s out there and new ideas and recommendations.” offers information such as how to clean indoor air using HEPA air filters. For those who work outside or don’t want to stay cooped up during fire seasons, there is information about when to limit physical activity and other steps to take.

The site is endorsed by Missoula City-County Air Quality Specialist Sarah Coefield.

“The vast majority of people in this state will never lose a house to fire, they won’t be evacuated, but we’re all going to be impacted by smoke," Coefield says. "As we have these more regular wildfire events it’s going to be very important that we become a smoke-ready state.” is made possible with a $10,000 grant from the Montana Community Foundation.

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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