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Utah dust storms were made worse by fire rehab efforts

Posted at 5:10 PM, Apr 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-22 19:56:09-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah experienced two days of dust storms this week, both of them with winds out of the southwest.

Storms are a force of nature, but some of the dust may have been stirred up by humans.

The biggest wildfire in Utah history burned in Beaver and Millard Counties in July2007, gobbling up the vegetation on 567 square miles in just 8 days.

The Milford Flat fire damaged a lot of rangeland, but it didn’t actually stir up a lot of soil. Two subsequent studies led by government soil scientists show that is was the subsequent effort to rehabilitate the burn scar that stirred up the soil, making it a giant source of airborne dust.