Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:07 AM by MTN News
MISSOULA - Missoula County residents are finally getting some welcome relief from the wildfire smoke that's been settling across Western Montana over the last several days.
Local health officials report that the air quality is "good" in Missoula as of Wednesday morning, although the cumulative air quality is still considered to be "unhealthy."
Ben Schmidt with the Missoula City-County Health Department cautions that with a high pressure ridge settling into the area, the air quality is expected to get worse as the day wears on.
The data from Hamilton already shows a sharp increase in smoke as compared to the night time levels, and Schmidt says that smoke is expected in the Missoula Valley later Wednesday morning.
While there has been a decrease in wildfire activity this week, the fires are still generating significant amounts of smoke, and according to a news release, the best chance of real improvement in fires and smoke will be in the first week of October.
Schmidt says the further south you go, the worse the air quality gets. The cumulative air quality in the Bitterroot is still "very unhealthy: as the area continues to get hammered by smoke from large fires burning in Idaho and Washington.