Montana air quality alerts

Montana air quality 2017

Montana air quality



Public health officials: Follow recommendations for outdoor activities


HELENA – State health officials stressed today the importance of following recommendations for outdoor activities based on air quality as Montana’s unrelenting wildfire season shows no signs of letting up.

This information is especially concerning with a new school year set to begin, fall sports are ramping up at all age levels and other outdoor activities are being held.

“We are obviously facing some very unhealthy conditions right now in many areas of Montana,” said Department of Public Health and Human Services State Medical Officer Dr. Greg Holzman. “We strongly urge all Montanans to take this seriously, and follow the air quality recommendations for outdoor activities. This information is designed to provide people with the information they need to make informed decisions that will help Montanans stay healthy during this time.”

DPHHS offers several resources and recommendations the general public can follow to avoid prolonged exposure at


The Recommendations for Outdoor Activities Based on Air Quality document is available here:

The DPHHS website also includes seven tips to help Montanans protect their health during a wildfire season and a public health wildfire communication toolkit.

Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) officials do not expect the conditions to improve heading into this weekend.

“Air quality impacts are not expected to improve today with stable air remaining in place,” said DEQ Air Quality Bureau Chief Dave Klemp.

Klemp added that fire activity is expected to remain high each day this week, causing significant impacts for west-central Montana. Smoke from the Pacific Northwest is also impacting Montana, worsening air quality in west-central Montana and causing widespread haze across the state.

On Thursday and Friday, increased winds and the chance of scattered thunderstorms will hopefully clear out some valleys but will likely increase fire behavior in Montana. There is no significant precipitation in the long term forecast, with smoke impacts expected to continue through this weekend and into next week.

Certain people are especially susceptible to the dangers of wildfire smoke, Holzman noted. This includes the elderly, infants and young children, pregnant women and people with chronic health condition especially those which involve lung or heart.

Health in the 406 messages

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Health in the 406: Focus on Wildfire Conditions




State and local health officials recommend that people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly, and children should avoid prolonged exertion; everyone else should limit prolonged exertion. When air quality is Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups... State and local health officials recommend that people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should limit prolonged exertion. When air quality is Moderate... State and local health officials recommend that unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion. For more information visit the Montana Department of Environmental Quality at

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