FRIDAY ALERT: Bozeman Air Quality ‘Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups’
The Gallatin Valley was blanketed by a fresh layer of wildfire smoke on Friday morning that you could actually taste.
As of 6:30am, the Air Quality Index for Bozeman is 128, and for Big Timber it's 137. (Keep in mind that AQI is measured in real-time and can fluctuate many points depending on what the wind is doing.)
The Air Quality Index for Bozeman rapidly went from the upper 80s which is considered 'moderate' to the mid-120s which is considered 'unhealthy for sensitive groups'.
I KNEW when I woke up this morning at 4:30am that the air quality was terrible. You could see the orange colors starting to break as dawn was emerging and you could actually taste the sooty smoke in the air.
Extremely gusty winds came through areas of southwest Montana last night, including the Gallatin Valley. They were so gusty that I checked our open windows to make sure they weren't getting 'blown the wrong way' like a limb being hyperextended. It was WINDY.
A handy tool to check the Air Quality Index in your area is IQAir.com. Not only will it give you several readings for a certain area, but it also marks known wildfires. That helps to make sense of where poor air quality is coming from.
NOTE: The readings for Bozeman and other locations such as Big Timber jumped around quite a bit in a short amount of time. That means that an Air Quality Alert for your area may not be in place, but we HIGHLY recommend that you use common sense. If it smells and feels gross outside, it is gross outside. Take appropriate caution when there is wildfire smoke in the air.