Montana wildfires impacting air quality in North Dakota

The Montana Wildfires are still blazing, which is affecting the air quality here in North Dakota.

Wildfire smoke contains particulate matter, which is a mix of gas and other materials. That type of matter is what affects people the most.

"It's been really hazy out, I have asthma so it's really affected my asthma. It just has generally been really icky outside, and it's been extra hot, it's been a little more humid then it usually has been. It's just been really miserable outside," says Erin Crawford, Bismarck.

The people who are most affected by the smoke are young children, the elderly, and those with reduced lung function.

"It can cause you to not be able to do exertion or activities outside," says Charles Hyatt, Air Quality Monitoring Division.

Luckily the particulate levels are higher in the atmosphere, where they haven't hit ground level yet. This means the air quality is in a good to moderate range.

"We have a network of about ten monitoring sites throughout the state. We monitor for components that are in wildfire smoke all day long, 24-hours a day, all year long," says Hyatt.

The North Dakota Health Department recommends you see your local physician if the smoke is affecting you.

To look at current air quality conditions in North Dakota you can go to http://www.ndhealth.gov/AQ/Wildfire.aspx