TOOELE (ABC4 News) – While homes in Tooele County remain safe from the Green Ravine Fire, some people with respiratory issues said they are struggling with the smoke.
Krystal Gordon, a Tooele resident of two years, loves the view of the mountains from her front yard. But Wednesday afternoon, it was a different story.
“You can see the smoke,” Gordon said as she pointed out the wildfire from her house. “It’s been blowing over here. Just walking across the street this morning to get my mail, I could smell the smoke as soon as I came out of the house and by the time I got back inside, I was starting to cough a little bit.”
Gordon has asthma and is seven months pregnant with her second child. Her first child, however, wasn’t very happy about the change of plans to stay inside for the day.
“She always really likes to play outside and it’s actually kind of making her mad because I have to tell her, ‘I’m sorry. Mom can’t go outside, because mom can’t breathe right now. We gotta keep an eye out on my breathing to make sure baby brother’s going to be okay.'”
Experts said there’s no widespread air quality impact on the valley, but people living near the Green Ravine Fire with heart and lung problems will be impacted the most by the smoke. That’s because wildfire smoke contains the same particulate matters found in winter inversions.
“Your body’s natural defense against breathing those things in can’t filter out those really fine particulates. So those are getting in your lungs and causing problems,” said Jared Mendenhall, Public Information Officer for Utah Department of Environmental Quality.
Mendenhall said anyone experiencing issues should keep all doors and windows shut, limit their time outside, and if possible, move physical activities indoors.
“A good rule of thumb is if you can smell the smoke, then levels are starting to reach a point where it’s impacting your health,” he said.
To check air quality levels, click here.
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