Out of state wildfire smoke expected to build this weekend along the Wasatch Front

Aug 20, 2020, 7:45 PM | Updated: 7:46 pm
wildfire smoke wasatch...
(Photo: Ravell Call, KSL, File)
(Photo: Ravell Call, KSL, File)

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah- A massive wildfire is churning outside Sacramento, along with hundreds more throughout California.  More fires burn in Southern Idaho.  More of this smoke is expected to drift to the Wasatch Front and intensify over the weekend.

Luckily, it won’t get too bad, for now.  “We’re not expecting the level of smoke… to exceed what we consider the moderate range,” says Jared Mendenhall of the Utah Division of Air Quality.  That would be the moderately unhealthy, yellow category. 

Mendenhall says this fine particulate matter in the smoke is the same kind of stuff we breathe in during winter inversions. “[They] are small enough to bypass the body’s natural filters.”  He says people who have breathing issues should take precautions.  For instance, not spending too much time exercising outside and keeping doors and windows closed tight. 

He says we’ve had a fortunate weather pattern that helped us avoid more of the imported wildfire smoke so far.  “At the first part of the month, a lot of the smoke missed the Wasatch Front and Utah,”  Mendenhall says high-pressure systems between us and California to help us block the smoke.  Whether they return is up to Mother Nature. 

This can be a challenging time for air quality in the dog days of summer in Utah.  “Its a one-two punch,” says Mendenhall.  “It’s still HOT, with ozone production still happening.  [Add into that] the wildfire smoke.”  

So while the particle pollution isn’t expected to get above yellow, the ozone could push us into orange. 

Get the air quality forecast plus tips on how to reduce emissions at air.utah.gov. 


Today’s Top Stories


Smoke is visible behind an airplane...
Devin Oldroyd

Grass fire near Salt Lake City International Airport causes road closure

A grass fire started near Salt Lake City International Airport Wednesday morning.
18 hours ago
Deuel Creek fire burns in the nighttime...
Samantha Herrera

Deuel Creek Fire continues to burn, officials hopeful for more containment

As of Tuesday morning, the Deuel Creek Fire was 10% contained and affected 129 acres near Centerville, Utah. Officials continue to work to contain it.
2 days ago
The Deuel Creek Fire started on the hillside above Centerville late Sunday night....
Devin Oldroyd

Deuel Creek Fire starts in Centerville overnight, evacuation order lifted

The Deuel Creek Fire began late Sunday night in Centerville.
3 days ago
Fireworks light up the night sky over Liberty Park Thursday July 24, 2003 Photo by Scott G Winterto...
Mark Jackson

Fireworks and some open flames are now banned in Park City

Just before the holiday weekend, Park City has banned fireworks and non-permitted open flames due to extreme drought conditions and fire risk.
6 days ago
A father and son shop for fireworks in Herriman, Utah...
Samantha Herrera

Tooele fire prompts reminder about firework safety

Illegal fireworks started a fire in Tooele, Utah Tuesday night. Officials reminded Utahns to light fireworks safely and legally this holiday weekend.
8 days ago
July fireworks Provo...
Samantha Herrera

Provo fire department sends out reminder about July fireworks

Provo Fire and Rescue put out a firework advisory for residents wanting to set off fireworks over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Out of state wildfire smoke expected to build this weekend along the Wasatch Front