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Check for air pollution alerts or warnings on the Missoula County Current Air Quality web page or by calling (406) 258-3600. 


When the following is called:

These restrictions are in effect:

 

Stage I Air Pollution Alert

 

No visible emissions are allowed from any woodstove or other solid fuel burning device in the Air Stagnation Zone without a valid air alert permit.

 

Stage II Air Pollution Warning

 

No visible emissions are allowed from any woodstove or other solid fuel burning device inside Impact Zone M without a valid sole source of heat permit.

 

Penalties

Allowing visible emissions from your woodstove or solid fuel burning device during Air Pollution Alerts and Warnings without the proper permit is a civil penalty and fines can quickly add up.

1st violation: $50
2nd violation: $250
3rd or subsequent violation(s): $500

For more information on Air Pollution Alerts and Warning, check out our FAQ page or see if the information below answers your questions.


Why Air Alerts and Warnings are Called

Small particulate matter can burrow deep inside your lungs. Long-term exposures have been associated with problems such as reduced lung function, the development of chronic bronchitis and premature death. Short-term exposure to particulate (hours or days) can aggravate lung disease - causing asthma attacks and acute bronchitis - and may also increase susceptibility to respiratory infections.

Pollution Sources

Residential woodstoves and fireplaces are the main source of winter particulate pollution in Missoula.

Check for Alerts and Warnings

Call the Air Quality hotline (406) 258-3600.  The hotline is updated by 9 a.m. and periodically during the day as conditions change.

Sole Source of Heat Permits (Pellet Stoves)

Pellet stoves inside the Air Stagnation with emissions that do not exceed 1.0 grams/hour weighted average are eligible for an alert permit.

The department may issue a sole source of heat permit for a pellet stove that constitutes the sole source of heat in a private residence and emits less than 1.0 gram per hour weighted average when tested using the EPA method.

Sole Source of Heat Permits (Wood Stoves)

Inside the Air Stagnation Zone:

Alert permits are no longer issued for woodstoves inside the Air Stagnation Zone. If you have a current alert permit for your woodstove, you may renew it every two years.

Permanent sole source of heat permits are no longer issued for woodstoves inside the Air Stagnation Zone, and have not been available since 1994. If you are inside the Air Stagnation Zone and have a special need or your permanent heat source is temporarily broken, please contact the Air Quality Division by calling (406) 258-4755.

Outside the Air Stagnation Zone but inside Impact Zone M:

Inside Zone M and outside the Air Stagnation Zone, the department may only issue a sole source permit for a solid fuel burning device that constitutes the sole source of heat in a private residence and was a sole source of heat prior to May 14, 2010, or the property is not served by an electric utility. A sole source permit is valid until the property changes ownership or another method of heating is installed in the structure.