UPDATE: 3:00 P.M. Friday, September 6.

Officials from the Lolo National Forest wote to correct the information supplied by the National Weather Service about the source of wildfire smoke.

'The Hay Creek Fire is actually considered ‘out’ and has been out since 9/2. It is not producing any smoke that would impact Missoula at this time.'

KGVO appreciates the input from the Lolo National Forest.

That familiar smoky haze has returned to the Missoula valley and meteorologist Luke Robinson with the National Weather Service Office in Missoula said early this morning that the smoke is still coming from a combination of wildfires and controlled burns in Idaho and extreme Western Montana.

“We have a number of wildfires and some prescribed burns to our west,” said Robinson. “The cold front we had yesterday brought increased winds and made some of those fires very active. We have three wildfires to our west and there are a couple of prescribed burns that have created some of the smoke we saw yesterday evening.”

Robinson identified the fire burning in western Montana, and said some relief may be on the way.

“There’s a wildfire called the Hay Creek Fire that’s burning just west of Alberton, and I believe that is the fire that created most of the smoke in the Missoula area,” he said. “The good news is we’re going to have some fall-like weather starting Friday through the weekend and into early next week, so what fires we do have could be dampened with the rain and cooler temperatures.

The Missoula area has had a relatively smoke free summer as the season heads into fall.

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