With wildfires raging across the Western states, Utah County’s sky has been looking a little hazy.
According to Donna Spangler, communications director for the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, though there are a few fires burning in Utah, a lot of the haze that’s settled in locally over the past few days is a result of large wildfires in neighboring states. In fact, she said there are 106 active fires burning in California.
While it looks “really bad” outside, Spangler added that, health wise, it’s “not as alarming as it looks.”
According to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, the air quality forecast for Utah County is expected to remain at moderate levels at least through Wednesday.
That means though the air quality is acceptable, there may be a moderate health concern for those who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.
“If you or your children are sensitive to air pollution or if you have respiratory problems such as asthma … you might want to make sure you avoid extended exposure outside,” Spangler said.
He added that the “bottom line” is everyone needs to be careful about their driving in the summer as well as in the winter.
With the first day of school right around the corner, Jarvis encouraged school-age children to walk or ride a bike to school. He added that neighborhoods could even arrange a “walking school bus,” which is when a few adults walk and accompany the neighborhood kids to school.
Spangler added Utah County residents can keep updated on air quality either through the department’s forecasts online at deq.utah.gov, or through the free UtahAir app developed in conjunction with Weber State University.