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Utah air already unhealthy before wildfires

MURRAY – Utah’s wildfires may make the air seem worse, but a pulmonologist says air quality was bad before they started producing smoke.

That’s because ozone levels are as high as any summer day.

“We were beautiful because we had the north wind” pushing the smoke away, Dr. Nathan Dean of Intermountain Medical Center said. “And as soon as the wind turned around, then all that smoke that’s plaguing our state and other regions came into the Wasatch Front.

Dr. Dean says smoke from Utah’s wildfires, plus the heat, compound the already dirty air.

He adds it’s not just bad for sensitive breathing groups.

“Healthy people may notice they may have a little bit of burning in the chest if they go out for a run,” Dr. Dean said. “They may cough in a way they normally don’t.”

Dr. Dean cut back on his own outdoor exercise and activity, and recommends the same for us until the air improves.