Concerns about air quality
The Helena area saw dramatic swings in air quality in recent days due to the wildfire activity and varying wind conditions.
The Lewis and Clark County Health Department is encouraging those sensitive to poor air quality to avoid strenuous activity, prolonged outdoor activities and stay inside, if possible.
The department recommends using visibility guidelines to gauge air quality. Visibility of 10 miles or less is considered unhealthy with breathing or heart problems. As a general rule, if you cannot see the North Hills area from Helena, then the air quality is poor, the department notes.
The health department’s air-quality hot line is 444-1644. It will be updated twice daily during periods of questionable air quality. More information is available at the Montana Department of Environmental Quality web site at http://www.deq.mt.gov
Shelter for animals
There are several options for pets and other animals needing a place to escape the Corral Fire.
Total Dynamic Balance Veterinary Clinic on Tuesday was still taking on dogs, cats, cattle, horses and other critters needing a temporary home. The clinic is located at 3386 Highway 12 East.
The Lewis and Clark Humane Society also opened its doors to dogs and cats needing temporary shelter Tuesday. The humane society shelter is located off Custer Avenue across from Costco.
“We are concerned that all animals have a safe place to go to as homes are increasingly under evacuation order,” said Gina Wiest, the society director. “The shelter is equipped to handle an influx of dogs and cats that need this help.” The shelter can be contacted at 442-1660 or after hours by calling the sheriff’s department at 447-8293.
Home for evacuated food and meat
Tizer Meats has turned on its freezer and cooler, and will allow people impacted by the Corral Fire to store perishables for free.
The offer will last until “people get their lives back,” noted business manager Janet Fadness.
“We don’t have a lot to offer, but will do anything we can to help our community,” Fadness said. “I have a big freezer and two walk-in coolers. We’re offering free storage to anybody who is evacuated or whose power is out.”
If possible, people should put their goods in coolers, boxes or other containers, and they can label their items. Tizer also has freezer baskets they can loan people.
Fadness said they are adamant about their organization, so people’s items will remain separate.
She notes that anyone coming to the business at 3558 Tizer Road (next to Warren School) after 5:30 p.m. can call some of the cell phone numbers that will be posted on the door and someone will assist them.
“All of us live next door, so we can come right in and help them put things away,” Fadness said. “I know there are people with freezers full of stuff wondering what to do with it. We’d like to help.”
Gym open for kids Tuesday evening
The HAC and Gymtrix at 3370 Colton Drive is open Tuesday evening for children of evacuated families who need help with child care while evacuating homes and other matters. Staff will be available from 4 to 10 p.m.