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Colt Fire impacting air quality in parts of Western Montana

Colt Fire Smoke
Posted at 9:10 AM, Jul 24, 2023

MISSOULA - Smoke from the Colt Fire burning 15 miles northwest of the town of Seeley Lake has settled into several valleys, leading to Unhealthy conditions from Lake Inez through Condon early Monday morning.

Air quality in Seeley is generally Moderate to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups.

The smoke also traveled as far south as the Potomac Valley, where conditions are generally Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups, and tipped over into the Mission Valley, where conditions are also Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups.

Missoula County City-County Health Department Air Quality Specialist Sarah Coefield advises that air quality for those near the Colt Fire may get a bit worse on Monday morning before improving later in the day.

There is a Red Flag Warning over the Colt Fire on Monday with Coefield noting that active fire behavior and a large column of smoke should be expected. Smoke is likely to again impact the Highway 83 corridor on Monday evening, according to Coefield. She added that the wind direction could send smoke to Seeley and Salmon lakes.

Additionally, the predicted winds Monday could push the Colt Fire to the north which would bring more overnight smoke to the Swan Valley.

When air quality is Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups, people with heart or lung disease, children and the elderly should limit prolonged outdoor exertion. Anyone experiencing symptoms of heart or lung disease associated with smoke exposure should contact their healthcare provider.

When air quality is Unhealthy, people with heart or lung disease, smokers, children and the elderly should limit heavy or prolonged exertion and limit time spent outdoors. People with asthma should follow their asthma management plan. People experiencing symptoms of heart or lung disease associated with smoke exposure should contact their healthcare provider.

The latest air quality information can be found here.