WASATCH FRONT NEWS: Salt Lake, Summit, Tooele, Utah, and Wasatch counties

Early Utah wildfire season could have serious impacts on allergy season

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – On Tuesday, while parts of the state saw snow and rain, other areas saw serious drought conditions.

On Monday, multiple areas were under a Red Flag Warning as strong winds brought large amounts of dust.

“There is nothing unusual with a strong cold front like that in April,” University of Utah Atmospheric Sciences Professor Jim Steenburgh says. “We have been seeing this year quite a bit of dust after the front goes through.”

Steenburgh says the drought is not only impacting dust amounts, but also fueling wild fires.

Three fires are burning right now in the driest parts of the state, two of which are believed to be human-caused.

Doctors at Intermountain say fires so early in the season, paired with the common allergy season, could be a one-two punch.

“Smoke and pollution, in general, it all can cause a lot of inflammation of the respiratory airways,” Doctor Libby Kelly says. “It’s an adding factor if you’re already inflamed and bothered, add pollen on top of that.”

Durning high fire danger or a red flag warning, doctors say staying indoors is best to avoid allergies.

By advising people to stay indoors, Steenburgh hopes to avoid more human-caused wildfires.

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