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Health Department Wildfire Smoke Guidelines on UM Athletic Events [AUDIO]

smoky sky
photo by Peter Christian

There are few events with more economic and social impact than University of Montana Homecoming. Therefore, City-County Health Department and University of Montana officials tread very lightly on the subject of cancellation due to wildfire smoke.

Head UM  athletic trainer Dennis Murphy says he has looked closely at the University’s policy on cancelling the event. He says recent studies have brought to light the scientific fact that wildfire smoke is not as hazardous to healthy individuals as was previously thought. However, those with respiratory problems, small children and the elderly should follow the advice of their health care providers.

Murphy says if air quality reaches the HAZARDOUS level, the health department could only RECOMMEND that the game be cancelled. The ‘Hazardous’ level means visibility is limited to 1.25 miles. On Saturday before the Liberty game, visibility was at about 3 miles.

So, the bottom line is, it would take very extreme smoke conditions to cancel the game, and officials would only do so if the public’s safety was at risk.

Head UM Athletic Trainer Dennis Murphy

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