Alberta wildfire smoke clouds Montana skies

Joshua Murdock

Smoke from a slew of wildfires raging across the Canadian province of Alberta is degrading air quality across Montana. 

Air quality continued to deteriorate on Thursday but was forecast to improve into the weekend. Air quality at various locations around Missoula registered as moderate or unhealthy for sensitive groups around 2 p.m. Thursday. Smoke increased throughout the day, and air quality in Missoula was trending toward unhealthy. 

Air quality was worse to the north of Missoula and east of the Continental Divide. Air quality was unhealthy for sensitive groups in Seeley and Potomac. Air in the Mission Valley registered mostly as unhealthy for sensitive groups. Libby’s air was in the same category. The Flathead Valley and Glacier National Park had unhealthy air Thursday. Helena, Butte and Bozeman registered unhealthy air as well. 

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Air quality in the Bitterroot Valley was mostly moderate, with some monitoring stations registering good air. Northern and central Idaho had a mix of good and moderate air quality Thursday.

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