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Public health officials issue outdoor activity recommendations

MISSOULA, Mont. – State health officials stressed on Wednesday the importance of following recommendations for outdoor activities based on air quality as Montana’s wildfire season shows no signs of letting up.

This information is especially concerning with a new school year set to begin, fall sports are ramping up at all age levels and other outdoor activities are being held.

DPHHS offers several resources and recommendations the general public can follow to avoid prolonged exposure at www.dphhs.mt.gov.

The Recommendations for Outdoor Activities Based on Air Quality document is available here: http://dphhs.mt.gov/publichealth/airquality.

The DPHHS website also includes seven tips to help Montanans protect their health during a wildfire season and a public health wildfire communication toolkit.

Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) officials do not expect the conditions to improve heading into this weekend.

DEQ Air Quality Bureau Chief Dave Klemp says that fire activity is expected to remain high each day this week, causing significant impacts for west-central Montana. Smoke from the Pacific Northwest is also impacting Montana, worsening air quality in west-central Montana and causing widespread haze across the state.

On Thursday and Friday, increased winds and the chance of scattered thunderstorms will hopefully clear out some valleys but will likely increase fire behavior in Montana. There is no significant precipitation in the long term forecast, with smoke impacts expected to continue through this weekend and into next week.
Certain people are especially susceptible to the dangers of wildfire smoke. This includes the elderly, infants and young children, pregnant women and people with chronic health condition especially those which involve lung or heart.

To keep informed about this and other public health topics, consider subscribing to DPHHS Health in the 406 messages by going to www.healthinthe406.mt.gov.

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