Wildfires cause evacuations near Wise River, widespread smoke over Butte

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The sun sets behind homes along West Platinum Street on Thursday evening in Butte.

Meagan Thompson, The Montana Standard MIKE SMITH

Much of the smoke settling over Butte and the Summit Valley is likely coming from Montana wildfires to the southwest, officials say, including one that led to a cautionary evacuation of 38 houses and structures near Wise River.

Winds were carrying smoke from the Trail Creek Fire west of Wisdom and the Alder Creek Fire near Wise River eastward over Butte, Michael Williams, a public information officer for the Southern Area Blue Team that’s leading firefighting efforts, said Friday.

In southwest Montana, Butte-Silver Bow, Anaconda-Deer Lodge, Granite and Jefferson counties were under an “air quality alert,” meaning particulates in the air exceed or will soon exceed health standards. The alert was to run through at least Saturday morning.

Health officials recommend everyone remain indoors as much as possible and when outside, keep activity levels light. The elderly, children and those with respiratory or heart disease should avoid prolonged exertion and everyone else

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