WILDFIRE

Cough, cough: Wildfire season may bring worsening air quality

Jun 10, 2021, 2:51 PM | Updated: 4:14 pm

wildfire smoke map shows air quality conditions...

Map: fire.airnow.gov

SALT LAKE CITY — The arrival of wildfire season in Utah, which some worry could become worse than normal because of the drought conditions, brings another unwelcome friend: worsening air quality. 

Air quality affected by wildfire season

Smoke wafted over the Wasatch Front and the Oquirrh Mountains early Thursday from a series of wildfires in Utah. By late afternoon, the skies looked more clear over Salt Lake City, but the US Air Quality Index’s fire and smoke map showed the smoke largely shifted to the east of the Wasatch Front. 

Thursday afternoon, sensors for the Utah Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality measured fine particulate matter pollution at 14.6 micrograms per cubic meter in Salt Lake County. DAQ considers that level of particulate pollution to be “moderate,” not severe enough to prompt warnings for sensitive populations. However, the state air quality website also included this note about currently burning fires: 

Smoke from wild fires could cause high concentrations of particulates in populated areas. If smoke becomes thick, persons with existing heart or respiratory ailments should reduce physical exertion and outdoor activity. Due to the passage of weather system, the Utah Division of Air Quality indicates the possibility of wind blown dust in the area.

What happens if I breathe in smoke? 

As with any type of pollution, health experts say smoke from a wildfire can directly impact your health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those with underlying health conditions such as asthma, COPD or heart disease are especially at risk. 

Inhaling smoke from a wildfire can trigger symptoms including coughing and wheezing or even trouble breathing. According to the CDC, smoke inhalation can also trigger an asthma attack and irritate your sinuses. Stinging eyes, a runny nose and a scratchy throat can also occur. In severe exposure, victims may experience tiredness, headaches, a fast heartbeat, and even chest pain. 

Where can I get the latest conditions? 

Check the latest air quality conditions during wildfire season from the state division of air quality website. You can also find real-time updated conditions via the KSL Air Quality Network

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Wildfire

Cane toads produce poison in large glands perched on their shoulders that's fatal for some animals....

Hilary Whiteman, CNN

This warty, toxic pest threatens entire ecosystems. These scientists have a secret weapon

Originally Published: 19 JAN 24 18:42 ET Updated: 19 JAN 24 21:50 ET Brisbane, Australia (CNN) — On the edge of a dark, suburban park in Brisbane, teams of volunteer toad-catchers gather around Gary King as he shoves another squirming specimen into a cooler box. “Who’s got some more?” asks King, a local leader of […]

1 month ago

When officials arrived at the scene of a housefire in Deweyville in the overnight hours of March 7,...

Curt Gresseth

Firefighters’ chili cook-off raises money for burn camp and survivors

A Utah firefighter and a burn survivor talk about an upcoming chili cook-off to support a burn camp program.

4 months ago

Fire danger is on the rise across the state, thanks to the wind blowing and drying things out. Wind...

Heather Kelly

Health-related issues from wildfire smoke are on the rise

Wildfire smoke is causing health-related issues to increase in certain parts of the United States.

5 months ago

Traffic travels along I-80 in Salt Lake City's Parleys Canyon....

Dan Bammes

Wind prevents Friday prescribed burn in Salt Lake canyons

The burn piles are ready to go, however, and the prescribed burn may begin on Saturday if conditions are right.

5 months ago

two buck deer shown, deer elk and moose are at risk for chronic wasting disease in utah...

Mark Jones

DWR offers tips for hunters as big game hunting seasons approaches

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources offers hunters a few reminders before leaving home.

5 months ago

(CNN) — The number of people who died in the massive wildfires that torched parts of Maui last m...

Taylor Romine and Aya Elamroussi

Advanced DNA testing prompts officials to revise Maui wildfires death toll to 97, down from 115

The Hawaii governor said Friday that the death count from the Maui wildfires is down to 97 from 115.

5 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Cough, cough: Wildfire season may bring worsening air quality