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Air quality “unhealthy” for all near Spanish Fork

Air quality above Spanish Fork Canyon remained gray and smoky Monday morning, as observed from KSL Chopper 5.

SPANISH FORK — Air quality levels spiked into the unhealthy or “red” category again Monday morning around Spanish Fork Canyon, as crews continued to do battle with the Coal Hollow Fire.

Air quality levels remained hazardous Monday for Spanish Fork and surrounding areas

The KSL.com weather page showed hazardous air quality levels Monday for residents near Spanish Fork.

Pollution levels in Spanish Fork have spiked to 264 on the KSL Air Quality Index, which puts the air quality in the hazardous zone for all people, not just those with sensitivities.

For reference, air quality is considered “good,” or green, between 0 and 50 on the scale; moderate air quality, or “yellow,” is between 51 and 100; “orange” is unhealthy for sensitive groups between 101 and 150, and air is considered unhealthy for everyone at any reading above 151.

However, that’s just the KSL Air Quality Index. The Environmental Protection Agency actually breaks down exposure even further, classifying levels between 201 and 300, where Spanish Fork is registering as “purple,” or very unhealthy.

The entire Wasatch Front is currently under a ‘yellow or orange’ air alert.

The average level of particulates in the Salt Lake Valley is at 90, which is in the moderate pollution range. And Davis and Weber Counties are hovering around the 100 mark which pushes the particulates to the unhealthy level for sensitive groups.  But all these counties have pockets in neighborhoods where the air quality is above 130.  Anything above 151 is considered unhealthy for everyone.

The unhealthy pollution levels are creating spikes in emergency room visits and have prompted numerous sports groups to cancel both outdoor practices and games.