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Missoula City-County Health Department
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Environmental Health Division: Air Quality Topics

Environmental Health Division: Air Quality
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Air Quality - Wildfire Smoke

Wildfire Smoke Plan

Missoula adopts a Wildfire Smoke Plan each year via a 90-Day Board Order.

View the 2008 Wildfire Smoke Emergency Episode Avoidance Plan here.

It is also available on the Current Air Quality page.


Wildfire smoke changes constantly, and is worse in some parts of the county than others. Because of this, the best way to determine what precautions you should take in your area is to judge how thick the smoke is using visibility.

The procedure for making personal observation to determine the forest fire smoke visibility ranges is:

  1. Face away from the sun
  2. Determine the limit of your visible range by looking for targets at known distances (miles)
  3. Visible range is that point at which even high contrast objects totally disappear.
  4. Use the values above to determine the health effects category.

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