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Helena air listed as unhealthy due to Canadian wildfires

Posted at 10:59 AM, May 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-31 12:59:09-04
Wildfire smoke from Canada obscures the mountains in the north Helena Valley Friday morning.

HELENA- As of Friday morning, the Helena area had the worst air quality in the state according to the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.

Air quality decreased to “unhealthy” in the Helena Valley overnight as thick wildfire smoke from Canada moved into the region.

Montana Department of Environmental Quality says under the current conditions, active children and adults and people with respiratory problems should avoid prolonged outdoor exertion. The National Weather Services says visibility has been reduced to under two miles in some area and some ash has been reportedly falling near the U.S. and Canadian border.

Other locations seeing a significant impact from Canadian wildfire smoke include Butte, Bozeman, Great Falls, and Lewistown.

Conditions could slowly improve throughout the day Friday.

The four large out of control wildfires in Alberta have forced more than 7,500 people from their homes. The Chuckegg Creek Fire outside of the town of High Level, is the largest with more than half a million acres burned.

At least 2,300 wildland firefighters and staff are helping fight the fires.

Eric Jochim – MTN News