Montana Air quality affected by WA Wildfires - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Montana Air quality affected by WA Wildfires

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HELENA -

Smoke from the wildfires last week in Eastern Washington slowly traveled through Montana. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality said it's during these natural disasters that people should be selective with their outdoor activities.

There are 31 monitors in Montana that are all working to test the quality of air throughout the state. These monitors are all testing the air for particulates, which are tiny little particles that aren't seen by the naked eye, but can cause damage to your health

State Air Quality Meteorologist Kristen Martin said, "About a week and a half ago there were some really big wildfires in Eastern Washington that sent smoke our way, with some high winds over there. They headed directly into Montana, and we had some pretty significant air quality impacts...especially in the Missoula area. They had very unhealthy cumulative air impacts, and we had unhealthy air across most on Montana during that time."

A safe level for particulate matter is anything below 35. Anything above this will be categorized by how hazardous is the air quality. Martin said if the fires worsen throughout the season, you may notice an impact on your health.

"The general public will probably feel some impacts when they go outside and spend a lot of time outside especially running, biking, things like that," Martin said. "So people probably had irritated eyes and some coughing."

However, Martin said for the time being, the air quality has once again reached healthy levels throughout the state.

"We have a few local fires causing some localized impacts," Martin said. "But overall, we have much better area quality than a few weeks ago," Martin said.

 

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