MTPR

air quality

Glacier National Park

Update 4:58 p.m.

The Highway 37 Fire that was threatening the former WR Grace asbestos mine north of Libby is now 100 percent contained.

Shawn Ray-Delmas, a spokesperson for the Kootenai National Forest, says the wildfire was fully contained a few days before an official announcement was made Monday.

Air Quality Update for Western Montana, August 8, 2018

Aug 8, 2018
USDA Forest Service

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.

Inciweb


A weekend of lower temperature and higher humidity brought no substantial new wildfire starts across the state, and allowed firefighters to make a dent in existing blazes. 

Forecasters say to expect increasing fire danger and more smoke as the week progresses. 

Significant Wildland Fire Potential August 2018.
National Interagency Fire Center

A five-acre fire started around 4 p.m. Wednesday near Alberton. Lolo National Forest spokesperson Boyd Hartwig says the fire is burning mostly grass, and that it’s not yet known if the fire is human-caused.

Air Quality Update For Western Montana, August 1, 2018

Aug 1, 2018
CIRA and NOAA

Today's air report courtesy of Missoula City-County Air Quality Specialist Sarah Coefield:

Good morning, no, you’re not imagining things. That really is wildfire smoke dimming the morning sun.

Montana Wildfire Roundup For July 31, 2018

Jul 31, 2018
Fire Danger very high today.
Josh Burnham

Since Monday, one new fire has been discovered in the Kootenai National Forest. The Ten Mile Fire is burning 15 to 20 acres in the Rexford and Fortine Ranger Districts. That brings to 21 the number of lightning-caused fires discovered on the Kootenai since this weekend.

NOAA forecast of near-surface smoke for July 9, 2018.
NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory

Smoke visible in the Missoula area Monday dropped the air quality to "moderate." The smoke is likely coming from the Klamathon Fire in California.

Sarah Coefield of Missoula City-County Health Department said the fire is burning about 35,000 acres near the California/Oregon border.

Smoke covers the northwest on Sept. 4 2017.
NOAA

For most Montanans, wildfire smoke is ‘out of sight, out of mind’. It’s been almost a year since smoke pollution filled Missoula County, turning the air yellow and creating a public health crisis for residents. But one air quality expert is urging people to start preparing for the smoke before wildfire season arrives.

A closeup satellite image shows a thick layer of wildfire smoke covering Idaho and Montana, September 4, 2017.
NOAA

The latest American Lung Association air quality report shows some Montana communities continue to have unhealthy levels of air pollution on a national scale. Wildfires are the main culprit.

According the Lung Association’s most recent "State of the Air" report, the city of Missoula ranks as the 12th most polluted city in the nation for short-term particle pollution.

A closeup satellite image shows a thick layer of wildfire smoke covering Idaho and Montana, September 4, 2017.
NOAA

Montana researchers who are looking into the impact of wildfire smoke on people's health, and on firefighters' resiliency updated the public on their work Tuesday at the University of Montana. 

Dr. Paul Smith is a professor of medicine at UM, and a pediatric pulmonologist. 

"Anecdotally, this is one of the worse seasons we've had at Community Medical Center for kids being admitted and on ventilators. Our floor has just been chock full this season. And, you wonder," said Smith. 

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