Smoke from California wildfires fills region

Stock photo by Nuno André Ferreira, St. George News
Map showing smoke from California wildfires moveing northeast | Image courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, St. George News
Map showing smoke from California wildfires moving northeast into Utah | Image courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, St. George News | Click image to enlarge

SOUTHERN UTAH – Smoke from massive wildfires in California is drifting into the Southern Utah region and is expected to linger for a few days.

According to the U.S. Air Quality Blog, large wildfires in southern California have generated huge, dense smoke plumes extending to the east and northeast covering much of southern California into the Rocky Mountain states.

The Sand Fire near Los Angeles has burned 33,172 acres and triggered the evacuation of at least 10,000 homes, the Los Angeles Times is reporting.

The Soberanes Fire has burned 15,000 acres, destroyed 20 homes and is threatening 1,650 more near Carmel Valley, California, according to KSBW.com.

Smoke from the fires is being brought into Southern Utah by a recent shift in wind direction and is expected to stick around for the next several days, National Weather Service Meteorologist Pete Wilensky said.

Map shows air quality index as of 5 p.m. Monday | Image courtesy of Environmental Protection Agency, St. George News
Map shows air quality index as of 5 p.m. Monday | Image courtesy of Environmental Protection Agency, St. George News | Click image to enlarge map

Tuesday and Tuesday night, winds are expected to shift and carry smoke from the fires to the northwest so the smoke could start clearing out.

“There will be some residual smoke left for the next few days,” Wilensky said.

However, a wind shift is no guarantee of clear skies. There are currently several fires burning in Utah; smoke from those fires could move into Southern Utah, he said.

In Las Vegas, visibility is down to 10 miles compared to an average of 40-50 miles, Las Vegas NWS meteorologist Andy Gorelow said.

 

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Resources

  • Utah Department of Environmental Quality air quality forecast
  • Utah Department of Environmental Quality AirNow website
  • Southern Utah Air Quality Task Force web page

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