Missoula County Public Schools reported on Monday afternoon that Big Sky High School was evacuated for a little over an hour due to an apparent release of a substance suspected to be pepper spray released inside the building.

KGVO News reached out to MCPS Public Information Officer Tyler Christensen who provided this comment.

“Students were asked to go outside while our operations and maintenance crew determined if we could safely bring students back into the building,” began Christensen. “The incident occurred at about 2:15 p.m. and it was concentrated in just one specific area of the building which was closed off and ventilated. They are trying to ventilate the area with large fans and opening windows to help the substance disperse. No one was injured in the incident.”

The school district also released the following information regarding pepper spray.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Poison Control have published recommendations for how to protect yourself and what to do if exposed to pepper spray:

  • If exposed, you should remove your clothing and rapidly wash your entire body with large amounts of soap and water.
  • Wash hands, under fingernails, etc. before touching contacts or eyes.
  • Clothing that would usually be pulled over the head should be cut off the body instead.
  • Eyes should be irrigated for 10-15 minutes with room-temperature water.
  • Contact lenses should be removed and discarded.
  • Eyeglasses should be removed and washed with soap and water.
  • Jewelry should be removed and washed with soap and water or discarded.
  • Avoid touching contaminated clothing by using rubber gloves, tongs, or sticks to place the clothing in the bag. The bag should be sealed and placed inside another plastic bag. The CDC recommends contacting your local health department for instructions on the appropriate disposal of the bagged clothing in your area or for information about possible methods to decontaminate it.
  • Nasal irritation and runny nose should improve after nasal irrigation with a saline solution.
  • Throat irritation should improve after drinking cool fluids.
  • A cough or minor respiratory irritation can improve with a steam treatment, such as a steamy shower.
  • Anyone with serious effects such as wheezing, difficulty breathing, chest pain, trouble swallowing, burns, or persistent eye pain should seek immediate medical evaluation.
  • Mild skin irritation - monitor at home.
  • May rinse skin or eyes with milk followed by water if irritation persists.
  • May rinse skin with vegetable oil if skin irritation persists.
  • Poison Control can be reached at 1-800-222-1222.


School is normally dismissed at 3:55 p.m.

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