The red sun hanging over the Missoula valley is proof positive that heavy smoke from Washington and Oregon fires has poured into the area over the past few days.

Missoula City County Health Department Air Quality Specialist Sarah Coefield said the smoke has actually lowered the temperature in the Missoula valley.

"That smoke is so thick that the sun can't penetrate it very effectively, and right now, we're about 10 degrees cooler in Missoula right now than it is in Ravalli County," Coefield said. "Looking forward to the weekend, there are red flag warnings throughout Washington state and in Oregon, so those fires could just get worse."

Despite the smoke, Coefield said air quality in Missoula is still rated as 'good'.

"Frenchtown is a little bit worse than Missoula," Coefield said. "They haven't had quite the clearing out that we've had here. But, if you go north, Seeley Lake has considerably more smoke than we do. So, it all depends on where that big plume of smoke from Washington decides to land."

Missoula City County Health Department Air Quality Specialist Sarah Coefield