Bismarck  (NDDEQ)   The North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality is advising residents with respiratory health problems to remain indoors as much as possible while smokey conditions remain in the state.

Wildfires in northern Canada, Wyoming and Western Montana are sending smoke across North Dakota.

Extremely small particles of ash and soot, or particulate matter, have been increasing over the last few hours across eastern North Dakota. Particulate matter can irritate the respiratory system, especially for those who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or conditions such as asthma and allergies. The NDDEQ advises people with respiratory conditions, the elderly and young children to avoid prolonged outdoor exposure.

The NDDEQ’s Division of Air Quality is closely monitoring its air sampling network across the state. At this time most of the smoke impact seems to be concentrated in the eastern part of the state. If conditions in western North Dakota become unfavorable, the department will follow up with additional information.