Unhealthy wildfire smoke invades northwest Montana

Posted at 4:36 PM, Sep 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-13 10:23:17-04

KALISPELL - Unhealthy smoke has invaded northwest Montana causing irritations for those spending prolonged time outdoors.

“This type of air quality impacts us from the tip of our nose all the way down into our lungs,” said Logan Health Pulmonary and Critical Care Dr. Sue Fessler.

Dr. Fessler said unhealthy air quality can cause serious issues for those with underlying health conditions.

“Even normal healthy people will feel the impacts of this type of air quality, and I think we need to pay attention to that and tailor your activities accordingly,” added Dr. Fessler.

Dr. Fessler said smoke particles irritate the linings of our lungs, leading to shortness of breath.

“And that irritation leads to excess mucus production, and for those people sensitive to it, like with asthma, they will notice that their airwaves will become tighter and make it harder for them to breath.”

Dr. Fessler recommends those spending prolonged time outdoors purchase an N95 mask that filters out harmful smoke particles.

“For anyone who’s working outside where they have to be out breathing this air for sustained periods of time, I think wearing a respirator or an N95 mask is a good idea if you can, obviously it’s hot and it’s not always that comfortable, but it will probably, in the long run, makes your breathing easier that day,” said Dr. Fessler.

The latest air quality information for Montana can be found at