(HELENA) Wildfire season has brought smoke to all, but in some places in Montana, people have been facing very unhealthy air quality.

In the height of fire season, smoke is often visible across our big sky for days, weeks, and even months at a time. This past weekend, wildfire smoke and air quality were especially bad on Saturday night after fires in Idaho flared up Saturday afternoon.

Smoke will reduce visibility, depending on how thick the smoke is. The thicker the smoke, the more particles are in the air that creates more unhealthy conditions.

When the air quality is good, the visibility will usually be greater than 10 miles. But when the visibility drops below 10 miles, that’s when it starts to get unhealthy for people with preexisting heart and lung diseases.

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When the visibility drops below 5 miles, people with pre-existing conditions and children should limit outdoor exposure. Those same individuals should avoid the outdoor exertion when visibility gets down below 3 miles. And at that level, all people should limit outdoor exertion.

When the smoke gets so thick you can barely see a mile, people with preexisting conditions should consider relocating to a clean air area. And everyone even healthy people should avoid outdoor exertion, or consider remaining indoors.



Reporter: Curtis Greventiz