More smoky air coming to Wasatch Front

Aug 26, 2021, 6:42 AM
air quality haze smoky air...
FILE: A poor air quality day makes it hard to see the Capitol building in Salt Lake City. Photo: Ravell Call, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — If you live along the Wasatch Front, prepare for another few days of smoky, gray air. 

The Utah Division of Air Quality forecasted smoke from western wildfires to drift into Utah Thursday and Friday. With the weather patterns working against us, the smoky air could very well stick around through the weekend.

“Unfortunately, for the next two days at least, we’re seeing that pathway open again. So, the smoke will be coming directly into our area,” DEQ Director Bryce Bird told Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News. 

The fires currently affecting us are burning in California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Bird said that means we could get hit from multiple directions even if the winds move in our favor. 

Will the mountains disappear again? 

Bryce Bird is uncertain how bad the smoke concentration will be. However, we will definitely notice it. 

“I think you’ll see a vast impairment,” explained Bird. “It’s nice to see blue skies and the mountains, but that certainly won’t be the case for the next couple days.” 

Salt Lake City had some of the worst air quality in the world for multiple days in early August, according to the World Air Quality Index

Spend more time indoors when air is smoky

Those with heart or lung issues are especially susceptible to the nastier side-effects of bad air. Bird said we should all consider staying inside for the next few days. 

“Don’t exert yourself heavily outdoors. Move exercise indoors. Take precautions, watch our children, adults who are elderly that could be impacted. Do as much as you can to reduce the exposure since we can’t prevent it right now,” Bird urged. 

Bird reiterated the fact hospitalizations due to complications from bad air quality days tend to lag by as much as four weeks. While you might not feel too bothered by the smoke today, it could lead to infections down the line. 

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More smoky air coming to Wasatch Front