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

Most of Montana will be slightly smoky this week, meteorologists say

A map of fire and smoke data for July 13, 2022.
A map of fire and smoke data for July 13, 2022.

Experts say a light blanket of smoke is expected to cover most of Montana throughout the rest of this week.

Matt Ludwig, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Great Falls, says the smoke appears to be coming from the Washburn Fire burning in Yosemite National Park in California.

“Fortunately, because right now there is only that one fire, any smoke that we do get is going to be fairly light. But it looks like we will continue to have smoke on and off through the rest of the week.”

Ludwig says that a weather system appears to be pulling the smoke up from California. The Washburn Fire has burned more than 3,700 acres and is 17% contained, according to Inciweb.

Ludwig says the smoke will stay in the upper parts of the atmosphere and likely won’t affect visibility.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality reported Helena’s air quality as good Wednesday afternoon.

Freddy Monares was a reporter and Morning Edition host at Montana Public Radio.
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