All counties in Montana under an Air Quality Alert

Hazy Skies

The air quality level is expected to reach into unhealthy for sensitive groups.

Thick smoke from wildfires raging in British Columbia, Canada, and in the eastern portion of the state is expected to spread into western Washington starting Sunday.

Smoke from wildfires clogged the sky across the U.S. West, blotting out mountains and city skylines from OR to Colorado, delaying flights and forcing authorities to tell even healthy adults in the Seattle area to stay indoors.

Western Montana is now monitoring where wildfire smoke from California, Oregon, Idaho, Washington and Canada ends up. To help you stay informed about air quality during the fire season, KQED Science is providing this map showing air quality in your area and what it means for your health, updated hourly.

Smoke originated from BC's 600-plus wildfires burning is making it's way out east, with Alberta and Saskatchewan issusing similar alerts.

Tacoma's air was "unhealthy" Monday, with nearby communities like South Hill and Auburn registering as "very unhealthy", according to the state Department of Ecology.

The pollution is expected to last until Wednesday.

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Now, another index conveys just how unsafe the air quality is.

Smoke concentrations may vary widely across the region, depending on the wind, the temperature, and wildfire activity.

For information visit MPCA's Air Quality Index webpage.

"We're concerned about anybody with any kind of pre-existing condition - MS, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and definitely respiratory diseases", she said Monday, when the sky over parts of British Columbia were a hazy grey.

The Puget Sound Air Agency said no outdoor burning is allowed as of 5 p.m. Monday in order to reduce any additional harm from excess air pollution.

Those who have to venture outside for extended periods of time and have considered wearing a mask should ensure they purchase the right one.

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