With fires burning across the state, health officials in Gallatin County are warning people of smoke exposure in the air they breathe.
"The haze you're seeing is typically a combination of wood fire smoke. It contains mostly water vapor, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and small particulate matter. And that's the real area of concern is that small particulate matter in that it gets inhaled and goes deep into your lungs and aggravates existing conditions," said Tim Roark, the Environmental Health Director for the Gallatin City-County Health Department.
Roark says the elderly and children are most susceptible to feeling the effects of smoke in the air as well as people with lung or heart conditions.
"Typically it's more short-term on healthy individuals. However, of course people who have chronic lung diseases, emphysema, asthma can be triggered off, heart conditions, things like that, that can aggravate it," he said.
According to Roark, if your sight is limited to five miles or less because of smoke, it's suggested you stay indoors more and don't exert yourself as much outside as you can feel tightness in your chest and more difficulty breathing.
When using air conditioning in your car or home, use the recirculating feature, so you don't bring air from the outside in.
To get updated information on air quality you can visit Department of Environmental Quality's website here: http://todaysair.mt.gov/