The Missoula City-County Health Department has issued a Stage 2 air pollution warning, and with it a ban on woodstove emissions in the Missoula Valley.
The current eight-hour particulate (PM2.5) average is at 35 micrograms per cubic meter – and the 24-hour National Ambient Air Quality Standard is 35.
So Missoula is very close to exceeding the National Ambient Air Quality Standard, said air quality specialist Ben Schmidt.
“The high pressure ridge parked over the Missoula Valley is unlikely to leave till Wednesday when a weather system is predicted to come through,” Schmidt said late Monday. “The high pressure ridge coupled with strong inversions means conditions will likely continue to deteriorate.”
Health officials encourage residents to avoid nonessential driving, carpool or use non-motorized or public transportation. In addition, woodstove restrictions are in effect.