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Missoula County Will Suffer With Smoke All Week Says Meteorologist

Photo courtesy of Inciweb/ Rice Ridge Fire
Photo courtesy of Inciweb/ Rice Ridge Fire

If your home smelled like a campfire Monday morning, August 7, it’s a smell you’ll likely have to get used to. According to Montana Department of Environmental Quality Meteorologist Kristen Martin, the smoke in Western Montana’s valleys is here to stay all week long.

“It is not looking too good for the next week,” Martin said. “We can expect a pretty steady weather pattern over the next few days so we are going to see morning impacts due to the smoke from nearby fires draining into the valley at night, and then, hopefully some improvement each afternoon, but we still have active fire behavior so we may have plumes from those fires in the afternoon as well.”

The smell isn’t just a nuisance, Martin says the smoke carries major health risks.

“I would say to expect in Seeley Lake that morning impact varying from Very Unhealthy to Hazardous most mornings and in Missoula, ranging from Moderate to at times Unhealthy For Sensitive Groups, with occasional Unhealthy levels in there,” Martin said. “Unfortunately there’s a big ridge over the west coast and we’re just stuck in a pattern right now.”

Martin says the soonest we can hope to see a major change in the weather is this weekend.

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