Wildfire smoke drives people in low-vaccinated areas indoors, raising outbreak fears


People walk through the Missoula Public Library on Friday. Smoke from wildland fires and hot weather is sending more people indoors to public places.

Missoula is obscured by smoke from wildland fires in mid-July.

AARON BOLTON Kaiser Health News

Missoula’s new downtown library was teeming with people who might typically spend a Saturday afternoon hiking, biking or otherwise making the most of Montana’s abundant outdoor recreation. One look at the soupy haze blanketing the city and it was clear why.

“We’re definitely trying to stay out of the smoke,” Charlie Booher said as his kids picked out books from the stacks.

Smoke from the wildfires burning through bone-dry forests and grasslands in the West has damaged air quality this week from California to the Eastern Seaboard. The

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