NewsLocal News


Experts discuss air quality amid smoke from wildfires in Utah

Posted at 11:29 AM, Sep 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-04 13:29:29-04

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah -- Utah’s recent rash of wildfires means there’s been a lot of smoke and soot going into the air we all breathe.

But, so far at least, it’s not causing an uptick in PM 2.5, which is the key component of air pollution.

And the experts are pleasantly surprised by that. Especially when you consider the Green Ravine Fire torching more than 1,000 acres out in Tooele and generating a lot of smoke.

And earlier Tuesday,the Snoqualmie fire in the hills above Layton also generated a lot of smoke.

Officials believe the winds have been working in our favor to carry away those harmful particles.

However, scientists know that those living and working closer to those fires can definitely feel the effects.

"If you're close to it and you're smelling it, you probably are experiencing some of that pollution and you should be cautious and stay inside if you can," said Donna Kemp Spangler with the Utah Department of Environmental Quality.

And for those who need them, there is information about what type of mask would best help you if you have to be near these fires and breathing any of that smoke.

Ironically there is a previously scheduled meeting Wednesday at the DEQ where they will discuss recent findings by the EPA regarding Utah air quality. Federal officials say all counties in the state have achieved attainment, meaning they are at or below the levels of PM2.5 considered dangerous.

Now the feds just want to know how we are going to maintain those levels.