Wildfire smoke has absolutely saturated the state of Montana. Missoula, Butte, Helena and Bozeman all have some of the worst air quality numbers in the entire United States, with some AQI numbers ranking worse than Jakarta, Indonesia or Delhi, India. That's really bad.

Air Quality Index numbers can fluctuate quite a bit in a short period of time. However, this week as a whole and especially today (Friday 7/16) parts of Montana are literally "dirtier" than the most polluted cities on earth.

Please take this alert seriously and avoid strenuous activities when AQI levels are dangerous. As of this writing, Bozeman has an AQI of 152 which is absolutely unhealthy. Earlier today the Bozeman AQI was 123 which is still concerning.

The Missoula area has been in the 150s for most of the day.

According to the Department of Environmental Quality:

  • AIR QUALITY ALERT IN EFFECT
  • WHERE: The Montana DEQ has issued an air quality alert for Deer Lodge, Jefferson, Missoula, Powell, Ravalli, and Silver Bow counties
  • WHEN: in effect until 800 AM on July 17, 2021, due to increasing particulate concentrations from local and regional fires.
  • This alert will be updated again at 800AM on July 17.
  • An Air Quality Alert means that particulates have been trending upwards and that an exceedence of the 24 hour National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) has occurred or may occur in the near future.
  • 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.
  • For more information visit the Montana Department of Environmental Quality at http://todaysair.mt.gov

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