Lewis and Clark County Health Department warns of bad air qualit - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Lewis and Clark County Health Department warns of bad air quality this winter

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Air quality is a concern mainly during fire season but believe it or not it can also be a big concern in the winter time too.

Inversions are a system of high pressure that traps cold air in valleys and makes it so pollutants can’t escape. The health department says sometimes air quality can get as bad as fire season.

“You could have smoke come in from the wildfire season and 2 hours later it leaves. With an inversion, it can trap that for many days and we have seen weeks before,” said Beth Norberg.

Pollution which is trapped by inversions can lead to poor lung function, headaches, chronic bronchitis and aggravate any lung diseases.

Wood burning stoves aren’t the only problem, car and manufacturing pollution also causes problems. But the big take away is during these inversions, is just like fire season, you want to limit your exposure.

You may not want to be out running, you may not want to be cross-country skiing. Especially our folks who are compromised with breathing issues. They are going to want to pay more attention to that, said Norberg

The health department is asking you to play your part in reducing winter pollution. A good way to keep smoke pollution down is to keep a relatively small hot fire. Do not overload fires with too many logs, and also keep a clean chimney.

The county also will put in place burn restrictions when needed. To find any restrictions or check the air quality here is the link. www.HelenaAir.org.

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