Air quality alert issued for several Montana counties

MISSOULA, Mont. – The following alert was sent by the Department of Environmental Quality on Sunday, Aug. 13:

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has issued an air quality alert for Flathead, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Missoula, and Powell counties in effect until 9 a.m. Aug. 14 due to smoke from fires in Canada and western Montana. Smoke is moving across the state ahead of a cold front. Areas should see improvement from west to east this afternoon. 

An Air Quality Alert means that particulates have been trending upwards and that an exceedence of the 24 hour National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) has occurred or may occur in the near future.

As of 9 a.m.:

  • Particulate levels in Quartz Creek are very unhealthy.
  • Particulate levels in Missoula are unhealthy.
  • Particulate levels in Columbia Falls, Condon, Eureka, Helena, and Holland Lake are unhealthy for sensitive groups.
  • Particulate levels in Frenchtown and Libby are moderate when air quality is very unhealthy

When air quality is hazardous state and local health officials recommend that everyone should avoid any outdoor exertion; people with respiratory or heart…

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