- Associated Press - Friday, August 21, 2015

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Wildfire smoke continues to plague western Montana and has spread to the eastern part of the state as far as Broadus.

Montana Department of Environmental Quality officials continued their warning Friday for the Flathead Valley, Hamilton and Lewistown, advising children, the elderly and people with heart or respiratory problems to stay indoors.

They advise everyone else to avoid prolonged exertion in those areas where the air quality is very unhealthy.

In other Montana cities from Libby to West Yellowstone to Broadus and those in-between, the air quality is only slightly better.

Firefighters are preparing for gusting winds and possible thunderstorms Friday afternoon.

DEQ officials say the wind may improve air quality Friday afternoon with the exception of far western Montana. Air quality is expected to deteriorate again on Sunday.

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