Here is what my town, Helena, Montana looked like yesterday at 1:35 pm. The smoke blew into town from the Meriwether Fire just north of town near the Gates of the Mountains Wilderness. The Forest Service's air quality level was the worst so far, with visibility at less than one mile. It was actually way less than one mile at the moment I shot this photo -- I couldn't even see across town just a few blocks away.
The Helena Cathedral's twin spires are barely visible in the center foreground. The mountain range on the north side of the valley are completed invisible. The fire is at the moment burning basically uncontrolled, though the Forest Service and other firefighting teams are trying to protect structures and homes in the path of the fire. Folks living in the area have been asked to evacuate. Some people do and others just want to stay home to protect their own homes and animals. I'd hate to have to make that decision!
The above photo is on the Helena Independent Record Flashpoint page, a regularly updated page of information about the fires burning in and around Montana. Click the photo to go to the article about the fire, written by Martin Kidston.