Air Quality

Nothing is more important to human survival than the air we breathe. Life without it is measured in moments. The average adult takes approximately 20,000 breaths a day, inhaling over 3,000 gallons of air and particulates. Many everyday activities such as driving our cars or dry cleaning our clothes or natural events on a larger scale, like forest fires, contribute to the pollutants in our air. These can be carried by the wind for hundreds of miles. In high enough concentrations they can harm us and our environment. Learn what you can do to preserve our air quality and protect yourself and your environment.

Decision-making recommendations during wildfire season are based on visibility and air quality.

View the Open Burning in Lake County page.

While most people like to burn in the fall, spring is a better time according to health standards. The cooler weather in the fall causes inversions that trap air underneath them. Particles from burning then build up and are inhaled instead of dispersing. Any Open Burning must comply with the State of Montana air Quality Rules set forth in A.R.M. Chapter 17.8, Subchapter 6 and any other laws or requirements set forth by the State of Montana and Lake County.

Before burning please check with the following:

  • Call the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes' (CSKT) Division of Fire at 406-676-2550. Visit the CSKT Fire Management website.
  • Call the Montana Department of Environmental Quality at 406-444-4267.