MTPR

Sarah Coefield

Inciweb

This morning's air quality update from Missoula City-County Air Quality Specialist Sarah Coefield:

"Good morning. Depending on where you are, you either woke up to nice air or chewable air. 

Extremely unhealthy air has prompted the health department to recommend that people should leave Seeley Lake, or at least try to sleep somewhere else. This view of the smoke from Seeley Lake was captured on the afternoon of August 10, 2017.
Eric Whitney

Wednesday, Missoula County's health department made the unprecedented recommendation that an entire town, Seeley Lake, evacuate because of pollution from wildfire smoke. Eric Whitney has more on where that recommendation came from, and how it's being received.

SteveRainsPhoto/Inciweb

Today's update from Missoula Air Quality Specialist Sarah Coefield:

"The combination of active fires, strong inversions and Canadian smoke means we all woke up to varying degrees of misery this morning.

Montana air quality map for August 9, 2017.
Montana DEQ

The Missoula City-County Health Department is now recommending that people in Seeley Lake who are able to do so leave the area until the wildfire smoke event passes.

Recent air monitoring readings show record levels of harmful wildfire smoke in Seeley Lake, the department says, adding that even indoor air is not safe.

A snapshot of today's air quality by health effects category.
Montana DEQ

A new 500-acre prescribed burn in Idaho is pumping lots of smoke into Montana. The National Weather Service in Missoula says it may take a little while for the smoke from the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests to clear out.

Missoula City-County Health Department

Wildfire smoke was almost bearable in some western Montana communities yesterday, but that's about to change.

The Missoula City-County Health Department says winds that have kept the smoke at bay for the past 24 hours or so are expected to shift to the west today. That could blow lots more smoke to the east.

In other words, there's a massive amount of smoke just over the mountains in Idaho and it's headed into Montana. That means air quality is going to quickly deteriorate.