/* /*]]>*/

(See the Visibility Chart at the bottom of this page for more information about how to assess air quality and its impacts on health.)

The Environmental Services Division of the health department monitors year-round the fine-particulate air pollution in the Air Pollution Control District (see map at right).

It also enforces local outdoor air-quality regulations that were adopted to protect the health of area residents by controlling emissions of fine particulate pollution, also known as PM2.5

Fine-particulate air pollution includes soot, combustion byproducts, and liquid pollutants in the air.

Exposure to fine particulates can harm human health, especially among individuals with existing lung diseases. Studies have linked fine-particulate pollution to an increase in hospital admissions and emergency room visits.

Get Current Air Quality Conditions

Burn Clean

•  Burning Indoors and Outdoors

•  How to Burn Your Stove Cleanly

•  EPA-Certified Stoves

•  EPA BurnWise Website

The following videos are courtesy of the State of Washington Clean Air Agencies.
 Windows Media Player is required for viewing.

•  Choosing a New Stove for Home Heating (4 minutes, 52 seconds)

•  Operating Your Wood Stove More Efficiently (4 minutes, 24 seconds) 

Health Effects of Smoke

•  Health Effects of Air Pollution

•  Smoke and Health Effects in Children

•  Activity Guidelines for Smoke Events

•  Coping with Wildfire Smoke

 Other Information

•  State Air Quality Information

•  2012 Residential Wood Burning Survey

Visibility Chart and Activity Recommendations 

Air Quality StatusVisibilityActivity Level Recommendations
Good13 miles or moreEnjoy outdoor activities.
Moderate9-13 milesSensitive individuals should monitor their condition and limit vigorous outdoor activities.
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups5-9 milesSensitive individuals should limit strenuous or prolonged outdoor activities and stay inside if possible.
Unhealthy for All Groups2-5 milesKeep all children indoors. Sensitive individuals should avoid strenuous or prolonged outdoor activities and stay inside if possible. Others should limit prolonged exertion outdoors.

Very Unhealthy/

Less than 2 milesKeep all children indoors. Reschedule or relocate outdoor events, including physical education classes and sports practices.

Recommendations for Outdoor Activities Based on Air Quality
for Schools and Child Care Facilities



Find Us

Melanie Reynolds
Health Officer

Environmental Services
City-County Building
316 North Park, Room 230
Helena, MT 59623
Fax: 406-447-8398

Do You Live in the Air Pollution Control District?

Click here to find out!

(click on map to enlarge)

Outdoor Air Quality

Text of Regulations

Exemption Request Form