ENVIRONMENT

High temps bring warnings and ozone problems to Utah

Jun 13, 2024, 1:00 PM | Updated: 1:01 pm

Parts of Utah have been given a heat advisory on Sunday. A view of the state Capitol and the Salt L...

Parts of Utah have been given a heat advisory on Sunday. A view of the state Capitol and the Salt Lake City skyline. (Deseret News)

(Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The National Weather Service has issued the first Red Flag Warning of the year for portions of southern Utah.

A red flag warning occurs when fire is more likely to occur due to present or future weather conditions, according to the National Weather Service.

The weather alert includes portions of Washington, Kane, and Garfield counties. Officials said the warning began at noon on Thursday and lasts through 9 p.m. Thursday night.

Temperatures in the affected areas are expected to exceed 100 degrees with strong winds of 10-20 mph. That temperature combined with the low humidity are the perfect conditions for starting and spreading wildfires.

To help reduce the likelihood of starting a fire, make sure all outdoor fires are extinguished properly and completely, and be extra cautious around dry grass and other vegetation. Also be aware of follow all instructions provided by your local fire department.

High temps and the ozone layer

As if the triple-digit temperatures weren’t enough to deal with, ozone levels are also increasing.

Dr. Brian Moench with Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment said ozone can be just as toxic as particulate matter Utahns see in the state’s winter inversions.

Due to the way it’s formed, ozone can be found at higher elevations as well. Meaning, people can’t escape the pollution by heading up into the mountains.

Moench recommends avoiding the use of gas stoves and barbecues to help mitigate summer pollution.

Taking public transit, carpooling to and from work, if possible, can also help to improve air quality.

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High temps bring warnings and ozone problems to Utah