Poor air quality forecast in S.E. Idaho and northern Utah

January 31, 2017

Poor air quality along the Wasatch front has prompted a health warning and triggered wood-burning bans in one Southeast Idaho county and a half-dozen Utah counties through at least Tuesday.

The National Weather Service says cold temperatures have trapped pollution in valleys where little relief is expected until another front moves in toward the end of the week.

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality has issued a “yellow” moderate grade for Franklin County. Moderate means that air quality is acceptable. However, for some pollutants there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.

Due to these elevated pollutant levels, residential wood burning ordinances will continue for Franklin County. Residential wood burning activities are restricted to certified or exempt stoves only. This burn ban will remain in effect until air quality has improved. Outdoor open burning is also prohibited while ordinances are in effect.

The burn ban will remain in effect until air quality has improved.

In Utah, the state’s division of air quality issued an “orange,” unhealthy grade on Monday for Sale Lake, Davis, Utah, Cache, Duchesne and Uintah counties.

A voluntary wood-burning ban is in effect for Weber, Box Elder and Tooele counties in Utah where moderate levels of particulates have triggered a “yellow” grade.

Health officials urge the elderly, the young and those with heart or respiratory conditions to avoid prolonged outdoor activity. Motorists should avoid travel and step up use of mass transit to limit hydrocarbon emissions.