Smokey skies in Helena, taken Aug 29. Photo credit John Riley

HELENA – Wildfires burning across the state have affected the air quality in most of Montana.

On Tuesday the Department of Environmental Quality listed both Helena and Lincoln areas as “Unhealthy”. That means everyone should limit prolonged outdoor activities. Those with respiratory issues, heart disease, the elderly or children should avoid outdoor activities altogether.

On Monday Helena’s air was considered “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups”.

Fires burning in the Lincoln area also affect the air quality in Helena. The Park Creek Fire, which is now combined with the Arrastra Creek Fire, and the Alice Creek Fire have burned a combined total of just under 20,000 acres.

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Other large fires from Western Montana are also likely contributing to the poor air quality.

For the most updated information on air quality click here. For more information on Montana fires click here.

Satellite image of air quality from Department of Environmental Quality