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How dangerous is the smoke in our air and when will it go away?

Posted at 1:35 PM, Oct 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-06 15:35:29-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Environmental Quality says the air quality index increased to a moderate to high level due to the particulate matter in our air from all the smoke over the past weekend.

In Davis County that means the index reached the orange level which can be dangerous for people with preexisting conditions.

“This is that same fine particulate that makes up the winter time inversion and so this lodges deep into your lungs and so that does have a health impact,” said DEQ spokesman Jared Mendenhall.

For a healthy person, you may not notice the smoke affecting you, but if you do, Mendenhall says it’s best to stay inside and plan activities around the weather.

“If you are out there working in the yard or getting some exercise and you start to feel shortness of breath or coughing, eyes are itching, nose is burning that’ll be a good time that would give you an idea that the levels have started to reach a point where it’s impacting your health.”

The high levels are going to continue until Wednesday or Thursday of this week when the DEQ says the winds will shift and move the smoke.

“As long as those fires are burning and that smoke’s coming over here to northern Utah then that’s going to impact visibility and air quality,” Mendenhall said.

He says the best way to help the air quality is to reduce your emissions, combine trips and use public transit.

To get the latest Utah air quality data, click here.