Why is it hazy in Utah?

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – Smoke and haze pushed into the beehive state from an unlikely source. An uncontrolled wildfire burning in Eastern Siberia is to blame. This is the second plume of smoke to hit the united States. The first plume hit on Saturday but was focused on the eastern side of the country.

The second plume of smoke moved into Utah on Monday, when our flow shifted in from the Pacific Northwest. The wildfire in Siberia ignited in a steppe environment, which is an area filled with bushes and weeds. Farmers in the portion of the country fertilize soil with controlled burns, but the recent weather in Siberia has been hot, dry and windy. Wind took control of the flames and have now killed nearly two dozen people and left about 5,000 people homeless. The wind that fueled the fire also helped carry smoke and haze into the jet stream. Experts at the Division of Air quality told ABC 4 that people in Salt Lake don’t need to panic about the current hazy conditions.

“It looks pretty bad, but so far we are not really seeing much of a bump on our numbers for particulate which generally indicates the particle size is very small,” Bo Call of the Division of Air Quality said.

There’s no defined back edge to the plume of smoke and while the wildfire continues to burn, there’s no definite end to the haze in sight. A stronger front passing this weekend will help clear the air and thunderstorms in the next few days will act as a weaker cleaning mechanism. As long as the fire continues to burn, there’s no definite answer to when conditions will clear.

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