WILDFIRE

Health-related issues from wildfire smoke are on the rise

Oct 4, 2023, 7:00 PM | Updated: 7:07 pm

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

FILE: A wildfire burning near the Saltair Marina in Magna. Smoke from wildfires has caused health-related issues to increase by 66 percent over the last decade. (Utah Fire Info)

(Utah Fire Info)

SALT LAKE CITY — People living in the West are breathing in 27 times more pollution from wildfire smoke than they were 10 years ago.

That’s according to a study by the website Climate Central. The study reports that 2023 is the worst wildfire season the Northern Hemisphere has seen in 17 years, with the worst air quality in the western half of the United States.

Researchers say health issues such as eye irritation, heart disease, asthma and death have increased as much as 66 percent in some areas in the last decade. 

The report also says the current warming climate will continue to produce larger wildfires and smoke pollution for years to come. 

Mark Jones contributed to this article.

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Health-related issues from wildfire smoke are on the rise