Posted: Jan 21, 2013 9:54 PM by MTN News
MISSOULA - Missoula is once again under a Stage II Air Pollution Warning, with local health officials cautioning that Missoula is very close to exceeding the National Ambient Air Quality Standard.
The high pressure ridge parked over the Missoula Valley is unlikely to leave until Wednesday when a weather system is predicted to come through, according to the Missoula City-County Health Department's Ben Schmidt.
The high pressure ridge coupled with strong inversions means conditions will likely continue to deteriorate. Residents are encouraged to avoid nonessential driving, carpool or use non-motorized or public transportation. In addition, woodstove restrictions are in effect.
The warning means that no visible emissions are allowed from any woodstove or other solid fuel burning devices without a valid Sole Source of HeatPermit inside the Missoula Air Stagnation Zone and Impact Zone M.
Health officials say in Missoula the eight-hour and 24-hour average particulate levels are at Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups and particulate levels could increase to Unhealthy tonight.
People with heart or lung disease, smokers, children and the elderly should limit prolonged exertion. People with asthma should follow their asthma management plan. Anyone experiencing signs of respiratory distress should talk to their health care provider.