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Wildfires create smoky conditions, unhealthy air for parts of Utah

Posted at 6:44 AM, Jul 06, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY -- Smoke from wildfires is creating smelly and even unhealthy conditions in parts of Utah Friday.

According to the Utah DEQ's Division of Air Quality as of Friday morning, Utah County is experiencing a red air day, which means the air is considered unhealthy for all persons.

Salt Lake and Weber counties are experience orange air days, which means the air is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups.

The following counties are experiencing a yellow air day, which is termed as "moderate" in terms of air pollution levels: Box Elder, Cache, Davis, Iron and Tooele.

Summit County issued a press release Thursday saying heavy smoke from the Dollar Ridge Fire has been pushed into Summit County, particularly in the Kamas Valley.

"Listen to your body. If you notice a headache or shortness of breath stay indoors and avoid both outdoor activities as well as exercise on days when air quality is poor,” says Phil Bondurant, Summit County Director of Environmental Health.

Conditions can change throughout the day, visit the Division of Air Quality for the latest information. The division has added a banner to their air quality page stating the fires may 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" that banner states in part.

The Dollar Ridge Fire is burning on more than 40,000 acres in Duchesne County, while several smaller wildfires closer to the Salt Lake Valley have been contained in the last 24 hours. About 20 acres burned near the University of Utah early Friday morning and another blaze burned up to 50 acres in Saratoga Springs.

Fire Weather warnings remain in effect for several counties in Utah.