Missoula Air Quality Still Good Despite Haze, Vast Improvement Over 2017
With all the unhealthy air condition warnings Missoula County received in 2017, the haze currently floating over western Montana might be a little bit concerning. Missoula County Air Quality Specialist Sarah Coefield says most of the haze in the sky right now is actually filtering down to us from Canada.
"Our air quality has, generally, been pretty good, trending toward moderate," Coefield said. "Frenchtown has been seeing more of that moderate air quality, where the smoke has been able to get down near ground level a bit more. But we haven't had any real severe smoke yet at all this year, which is a vast improvement over where we were last year."
Coefield explains how much particulate is in the air in Frenchtown now, compared to the same day last July.
"For example, right now [July 30], in Frenchtown, which has slightly worse air than Missoula the micro-grams for cubic meter for fine particulate is at 15.1 for a one hour average, whereas this time last year we were seeing particulate in the 30s and the 40s, so we are definitely doing better," Coefield said.
Coefield says we still have a long way to go to get out of fire season so there is time for things to get worse. In fact, weather systems this week may shift and begin pumping more smoke from California and Oregon into western Montana.