Stevensville drug store keeps face mask supply for forest fire smoke

MISSOULA COUNTY

POSTED: 6:06 PM Jul 31 2013   UPDATED: 8:58 PM Jul 31 2013
Stevensville drug store keeps supply of masks for forest fire smoke
MISSOULA, Mont. -

The Gold Pan fire burning in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area reminds everyone that it could be a long, smoke-filled summer.

Most of that smoke has settled south toward Salmon, Idaho. But there's an evident haze hanging in the Bitterroot.

The Bitterroot Valley has contended with smoke from forest fires before.

A Stevensville drug store always keep a supply of face masks to help people cope.

"From past experience," said Valley Drug & Variety owner Dan Severson, "we know we're going to need them. We know it's only July and I hope I'm wrong but it might get worse."

Severson said there's hardly been a run on smoke masks.

But the pharmacist said a number of customers have already come into his drug store complaining of breathing problems.