Smoke from Canadian wildfires reaches southwest Montana
By John Hooks MONTANA PUBLIC RADIO
Smoke from dozens of wildfires in Alberta, Canada reached southwest Montana on Wednesday morning, pushed south by a cold front.
Air monitoring stations in Cut Bank were recording unhealthy air quality as of Tuesday afternoon and moderate air quality in the Flathead Valley. Forecasters with the National Weather Service in Great Falls told MTPR it was unclear how long the smoke would linger, but that scattered rain forecasted through Wednesday could help alleviate it.
Data from the Interagency Wildland Fire Air Quality Response Program’s Fire and Smoke Map shows that wildfire smoke started affecting air quality around Bozeman in the early morning hours on Wednesday. The air quality as of Wednesday afternoon was rated “unhealthy for sensitive groups.”
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality recommends staying indoors and avoiding strenuous activity when air quality is unhealthy.
Eighty-eight wildfires are currently burning over a million acres in Alberta according to government data.