How is the wildfire smoke affecting your Utah experience?

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Smoke from the western fires is filling the Salt Lake Valley and the density of the smoke is making it uncomfortable for many.

“You can’t see the mountains at all, and it’s really sad, and smoky,” says Madison Keyser.

Keyser and her friend Nikol Yonemura wanted to take an evening stroll Monday night, quickly realizing how bad the air is.

Poor Air Quality

“I was really bummed out because I’m actually in PA School in Houston, so I’m only here for a week,” says Yonemura.

“Yeah, the air is not so good these days. It really is a result of all the fires,” says Dr. Elizabeth Joy with Intermountain Healthcare.

Dr. Joy is the Senior Medical Director for Wellness and Nutrition for the hospital system. She says sore throat and tightness in the chest are two signs of suffering from the bad air.

“Ground-level ozone combined with fire smoke, really bad for the lungs, bad for the heart, people should exercise indoors when the air quality is bad,” says Dr. Joy.

If you have to go outside the doctor recommends using an N-95 mask you got because of the pandemic.

Poor Air Quality

“That could probably make a difference when it comes to protecting you from air pollution,” she says. “But your typical cloth mask that you are wearing in the grocery store probably not going to make a big difference.”

Dr. Joy tells us if you are suffering from unhealthy air and you can’t stay indoors, you look at getting an inhaler to help you breathe until the storm front clears the air.

“We talk about the importance of our patients having their inhalers with them,” she says. “So that when they are doing something outside, even something simple as walking their dog, they have a rescue inhaler like an albuterol inhaler with them.”

Yonemura adds, “I’m just really sad that people are having to deal with the wildfires and that it’s affecting so many people. It’s so widespread right now.”

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