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Montana wild fires causing hazy skies across the valley

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GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ)—If you've been outside today, you may notice a difference in the air; it’s a bit hazy.

As wildfires continue to burn throughout much of Montana and the Western United States, much of that ash is impacting our air.

The North Dakota Department of Health listed the air quality in Grand Forks as moderate, but west of Bismarck, the air has been labeled, “unhealthy.”

In fact, Bismarck public schools even cancelled recess today and told kids to stay inside for safety reasons. While it’s bad now, experts say the air quality will improve with this weekend's light rain.

“The rain will actually wash some of that particulate matter out of the atmosphere. So what that usually does is it means a better visibility, the air will smell a little bit fresher, and just wash some of that stuff into the ground where it will do a little bit better than hanging in the air and causing respiratory problems,” said Brad Hopkins, of the National Weather Service.

The American Lung Association has some tips for North Dakotans:

  • Stay inside as much as possible to avoid breathing in the smoke.
  • They also say roll up your windows in the car and put your AC unit on re-circulate.
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