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No Smoke Relief For Western Montana This Week, Smoke Likely Till October

Photo Courtesy of Sue Orr
Photo Courtesy of Sue Orr

Smoke in western Montana was especially bad this week , and according to DEQ Air Quality Meteorologist Kristen Martin, it’s not likely to get better for many more days.

“We’ve got a ridge of high pressure over us right now that is causing the smoke from area fires to just sit right near the surface, so we’ve got real wide-spread unhealthy to hazardous air quality across northwest and west-central Montana, we expect that to linger for most of this week,” Martin said. “We’ve also got a lot of smoke coming over from those big fires in Oregon, Washington, and Northern California.”

Martin says the smoke from those fires should begin to mix down, decreasing air quality even further the next few days. The really depressing news is that the smoke is now expected to be with us at least another month.

“September isn’t looking too good, the long term forecast doesn’t have much precipitation in there and what we really are looking for is a season-ending type of event that brings a lot of rain and snow into the mountains that can kind-of quiet all of this fire activity. Right now, it is looking less likely that it will happen in September and more likely in early October.

Martin says there may be a chance for some smoke to clear out over the weekend, but that she wasn’t too optimistic.

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