SALT LAKE CITY — A thick blanket of smoke fell upon northern Utah Friday, darkening the sky and leaving many to wonder if a wildfire was nearby. However, a cold front is the culprit as it has pushed the smoke from out-of-state wildfires in California and Oregon into the Wasatch Front.
Air quality, which is currently the worst in the world, is in the unhealthy range for all groups of people and residents should try to limit their time outdoors.
The National Weather Service office in Salt Lake City reports the smoke will remain across the area today, with conditions expected to improve tonight as winds become more northerly.
***Smoke incoming!***— NWS Salt Lake City (@NWSSaltLakeCity) August 6, 2021
Here is a look at the visible satellite imagery across the Great Basin this morning. Some of the highest concentration of smoke is now approaching the Wasatch Front! #utwx pic.twitter.com/S7yxUIcy99
In a tweet Friday, the Salt Lake City Fire Department confirmed the smoke is not from "active incidents" in Salt Lake, but from regional fires.
"Those with sensitive health concerns are encouraged to stay indoors and contact their personal physician early, if needed," the department said.
A spokesperson with Salt Lake City International Airport says flights have not been affected by the heavy smoke, but officials are keeping an eye on the conditions in case they get worse.
8/6 - Smoke concentrations will become very noticeable as the day goes on today. Unhealthy air is expected. What will this mean for you? Avoid/reduce prolonged or heavy exertion. Move activities indoors or reschedule to a time when the air quality is better. #UTwx pic.twitter.com/QldLAhmrHC— NWS Salt Lake City (@NWSSaltLakeCity) August 6, 2021
Wildfires continue to rage across the U.S. West, including the Dixie Fire in California; the state's sixth largest wildfire ever.