Fire Crews deal with thick smoke from Sunrise Fire - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Fire Crews deal with thick smoke from Sunrise Fire

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TARKIO -

Sunrise Fire continues to grow; it's now at 2,730 acres and with thick wildlife smoke around the Tarkio area.

At the campsite for the Sunrise and Burdette Fire where fire crews stay at the smoke surrounds the area.

Lyle St. Goddard, Superintendent with Chief Mountain Hot Shots, said it might look nasty down at camp, but this is a breath of fresh air compared to the smoke right on the fire lines.

"You can deal with it here at camp but once you get on to the mountain it's a little tougher to deal with all that smoke,” said St. Goddard.

The Sunrise Fire has been burning for ten days now, with more than 400 firefighters on scene the smoke poses a bit of a health concern.

"It had been very, very thick. It's been burning a lot of timber, grass and steep terrain and a lot of snags,” said St. Goddard.

When the smoke gets thick in town doctors warn us to go indoors, but that’s not an option on fire lines.

"We continue to work unless they are having a medical emergency, but we continue to work,” said Connie Weeks, Medical Unit Leader with Northern Rockies Incident Management Team.

Medical Unit Leader, Connie Weeks, is stationed at the camp and is ready to help in any sort of medical emergency, but for the most part air quality doesn’t seem to affect these firefighters.

"They are amazing folks. They are physically fit and that's why they can endure it,” said Weeks.

Besides being physically fit and used to bad air, Weeks said crews pace themselves, use eyes washes and nasal sprays to endure thick smoke. 

And if there are medical emergencies, because of breathing in smoke there are oxygen kits at camp and on scene. 

If that doesn't help they seek higher medical assistance. 

The medical unit team said so far no one has had issues with the thick smoke so far.

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