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Monitoring Missoula's air quality

By Kevin Maki, KECI Reporter, kmaki@keci.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 08:57:35 AM MDT
Updated On: Jul 18 2014 11:24:52 PM MDT
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Air from Washington and Oregon fires has moved east.

The smoke it's carried over Missoula has formed a canopy high above us.

It's filtered the sun so the light has taken on a different hue.

But the air we were breathing on the valley floor late Friday morning wasn't as bad as you might think.

Sarah Coefield from the Missoula Health Department met me at the air quality monitoring station at a park near the fairgrounds.

She told me about 11 a.m. Friday  that the smoke is above our breathing space.

"What we're seeing on our monitors at least in Missoula," said Coefield, "is kind of low concentrations of smoke."

But if you are especially sensitive to bad air, your lungs aren't liking what you see above you.

"We have had enough smoke sitting in the valley for the last 24 hours," said the air quality specialist,"that those individuals may be starting to feel some of the effects."

The longer bad air sticks around getting stagnant, the harder it is on our health in the long run.