This is why it’s so smoky in east Idaho – and it may be some time before it clears


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IDAHO FALLS — If you’ve been outside today, you’ve likely noticed smoky, hazy skies.

While there are no wildfires burning currently in eastern Idaho, firefighters are battling 44 blazes in Montana and the wind is blowing a lot of that smoke into Idaho.

The National Weather Service reports the amount of smoke will continue to increase with decreasing visibility in some locations and deteriorating air quality.

The fires have burned up nearly a million acres already, and the smoke from those fires is reaching southward to northern Colorado.

A state of emergency has been in effect in Montana since late July. National Guard and FEMA resources have been mobilized to support men and women fighting the fires.

View the list of active Montana wildfires here.

Fires in rural parts of the state have destroyed homes and estimates show they could cost the state nearly $100 million.

Red flag warnings currently cover 200,000 square miles of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and the Dakotas. A Red Flag warning indicates conditions that are ideal for the rapid spread of wildfires — including low humidity, high temperatures, and the possibility for thunderstorms.