MTPR

air quality

Amy Cilimburg, the director of Climate Smart Missoula, helped Seeley Lake residents Joy and Don Dunagan get a HEPA air filter through a partnership with the Missoula City-County Health Department.
Nora Saks

This past wildfire season, unprecedented amounts of wildfire smoke in communities across western Montana threw public health agencies a curveball.

Yesterday, we dove into what we know and are still learning about the long term health impacts of exposure to wildfire smoke. Today, we’re looking at what it would take to provide filtered air to the most vulnerable Montanans.

Widlfire smoke fills the sky in Seeley Lake August  7, 2017.
Eric Whitney

This summer, Missoula County had its worst wildfire smoke season on record. It’s unclear how exactly that impacted the health of county residents, both as the fires were burning and longer term, but researchers are starting to pull in some data.

Frenchtown kindergarten teacher Justine Luebke shows off a brand new HEPA air filtration unit that will help purify the air in her classroom.
Nora Saks

Now that fire season has extended into the school year, many western Montana schools have been keeping kids inside because of heavy smoke. But that doesn’t mean they’re breathing clean air. Some community partnerships are springing up to try to get air filters into more classrooms.

Inciweb

Today's air quality report from Missoula City-County Air Quality Specialist Sarah Coefield:

"Good morning, We woke up to yet another day of white skies and muted light. Some of us had the added bonus of stale campfire smell, which means there's a bit more local smoke making its way to the Missoula Valley this morning. (When you can see the smoke, but you can't smell the smoke, the odds are pretty good it was generated by distant fires. The volatile organic chemicals that give smoke that acrid taste and smell don't travel very well.)

Flathead Cross Country Meet Canceled Due To Wildire Smoke
Montana DEQ

A popular high school cross country meet in the Flathead has been canceled due to wildfire smoke. It’s not the only high school sport facing adverse impacts from poor air quality.

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