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Smoke lingering in the storm but should move out Thursday

The KSL Air Quality Network map shows where air quality conditions are poor. Photo: KSL NewsRadio

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s rainy and windy, yet smoke continues to linger over the Wasatch Front, providing smoky skies and poor air quality. 

That’s because the western wildfires trapped smoky air over the region, and it won’t move out until the front passes. That will most likely happen by Thursday afternoon.

The air quality map shows a fair amount of orange dots signaling unhealthy air for sensitive groups, and some red, which means unhealthy air for everyone.

Western wildfire smoke sticks around in the rain

“The smoke from the western wildfires, combined with our summer ozone levels, have reached something we should be concerned about. And where we can, we should avoid heavy exertion outdoors,” said The director of the Utah Division of Air Quality, Bryce Bird.

That means if the rain isn’t already keeping you inside, you might consider remaining indoors if you are more sensitive to poorer air quality.

Inside air is better ventilated and conditioned. 

Bird said in previous summers, local wildfires affected Utah’s air more.

“But right now it is predominately the very very large wildfires in Northern California, and the weather patterns that are directing that smoke directly into our valleys,” he said.

He said it does feel like this summer has been worse than in years past.

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