An organization that's usually focused on bear conservation is raising money for air filters for schools in Frenchtown.
Missoula-based Bear Trust International is about $3,000 away from its goal of raising about $8,200 to place air filters in all 32 Frenchtown classrooms. A press release says the need is acute because there is no air conditioning in Frenchtown schools, so teachers have to open windows to moderate temperatures.
Air quality in Frenchtown spiked at just below hazardous this morning, and it's been suffering from smoke from the Sunrise, Lolo Peak and other fires for weeks.
Bear Trust International says it's buying filters for the schools that are designed to removed the PM 2.5 particulates are are in wildfire smoke and a health concern. The filters also remove volatile organic compounds in smoke. The organization says the filter manufacturer is offering them a reduced price since they're for classrooms. Bear Trust says the filters could be in place as early as next week.
The Trust's press release says, "This is a time of crisis and we want to do everything we can to help those in need."