MTPR

air quality

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. 

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.

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