It’s fall and that means it’s prescribed fire season in Montana. Wildland managers are now intentionally setting fires to reduce forest fuel buildup or to restore native vegetation.
Two prescribed wildfire operations just north of Missoula produced dense smoke that degraded air quality to unhealthy levels Wednesday night and Tuesday morning. As weather forecasters predicted though, a cold front pushed into the region Thursday afternoon, increasing winds which helped dissipate the smoke.
Missoula City/County Air Quality Specialist Sarah Coefield says cool, wet weather’s in the forecast which will probably further improve air quality.
Local wildland managers are considering using more prescribed burns in the Missoula area to help mitigate wildfire risks.