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

Out-of-State Wildfires Bring Smoke to Southwest Montana

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National Weather Service
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The National Weather Service's forecasts smoke from fires in California will impact air quality in Montana Saturday.

Several communities across southwest Montana are beginning to see smoke move in from wildfires in northern California. Fine particulate levels in Bozeman shifted into the unhealthy category around 8 a.m. Saturday, according to the Montana Department of Environmental Quality’s air monitoring website. Butte’s air quality also shifted into unhealthy territory around 10 a.m.

Hamilton, Dillon and West Yellowstone were all experiencing air quality levels that can affect sensitive groups Saturday morning as well.

DEQ has issued air quality alerts for Beaverhead, Gallatin and Madison Counties. According to the National Weather Service, smoke from out-of-state fires is expected to move into the state through Saturday, primarily impacting southwest Montana.

Air quality can shift throughout the day. For the latest air quality levels, head over to DEQ’s air quality monitoring webpage.

Aaron graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism in 2015 after interning at Minnesota Public Radio. He landed his first reporting gig in Wrangell, Alaska where he enjoyed the remote Alaskan lifestyle and eventually moved back to the road system as the KBBI News Director in Homer, Alaska. He joined the MTPR team in 2019. Aaron now reports on all things in northwest Montana and statewide health care.