New California wildfires expected to bring more regional smoke

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While the Dixie fire is sending the thicker smoke plume, the Tamarack fire in California (out of frame) is also giving the region a nice smoky coating and contributing to overall hazy conditions.

NASA GOES 17 Missoulian Staff

While Missoulians got a breath of fresh air Tuesday and Wednesday, smoke is expected to return to the region into Thursday, with new wildfires in California adding to the regional haze.

Air quality is expected to move from moderate to unhealthy for sensitive groups, said Sarah Coefield, Missoula’s air quality specialist, in her Wednesday update.

“Transport winds will be from the southwest, which will drive California and Idaho smoke our direction without any clear sky breaks,” Coefield said. “I’m expecting conditions to deteriorate late (Wednesday), but we’re unlikely to see conditions get worse than Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups.”

Wednesday afternoon wind and thunderstorms could increase fire activity locally, with the possibility for new starts.

“The California smoke may provide enough cover to moderate some of the local activity, but these plumes are not yet as

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