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NWS: Utah’s smoky air is here to stay

SALT LAKE CITY — Forecasters say smoky air, much of it from fires in other states, is going to stick around in Utah for the foreseeable future.

It might have been easy to forget Utah is a mountainous state with all the smoke in the air obstructing the view. While some of it comes from the various wildfires burning around the state, the majority of the smoke comes from California fires.

“We did have some contributions from the fires around here, but that’s how it got so bad,” says National Weather Service Meteorologist Monica Traphagan. “[the wind] was pulling in that smoke from California.”

The good news is that stable weather patterns with low wind this week means we won’t be getting additional smoke, but there’s also some bad news.

“The smoke that currently have is not going to get out of here anytime soon,” says Traphagan. “This regime of high pressure, light winds, and dry conditions is going to continue at least for the next few days.”

Additionally, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality is forecasting ‘orange’ air quality conditions, which is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, for the first part of the week.

Traphagan says, “If you have asthma, or things of that nature, exerting yourself outside is probably not a great idea.”

We could start to see some gradual clearing of the smoky air later in the week.