I’ve been blogging about the smoke and ash created by the California wildfires and how they have affected the air quality across the country. Today we are getting a first hand experience with a huge wildfire burning in Utah not very far from where we live in Park City.
The Utah County Commission stated that it planed to submit a "Crisis Declaration" as the Pole Creek and Bald Mountain fires continue to grow.
The Pole Creek and Bald Mountain fires have grown rapidly this week and appear to have merged into one large blaze, and as of Friday morning the combined acreage is estimated at 68,500 acres.
The Pole Creek Fire is estimated at 54,000 acres with 2 percent containment, and the Bald Mountain Fire at 14,5000 acres with no containment.
Strong winds have fueled the tremendous growth of the fire,
"We're expecting the wind to just blow," said Chief Seth Waite of the Elk Ridge Fire Department. "It's been blowing now for the past couple of days really hard. That's what pulled the fire down is the wind."
The Pole Creek Fire ignited September 6 and was determined to be lightning caused.
The Bald Mountain Fire is also believed to be lightning caused and has been burning since the end of August.
The air quality here in Park City has been greatly affected by this fire. You can see the smoke behind the Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley moving towards the Uinta in a thick band. It looks like the smog that lays over Salt Lake City on a bad inversion day or Los Angeles when the Santa Ana winds are not blowing. It smells like a campfire all day long. I have had headaches and sinus issues off and on and have been taking allergy meds to combat the irritation. I love the outdoors and mountain biking and hiking have been doable but the air quality definitely has put a damper on how long you want to be outside. I noticed yesterday after riding that I had (sorry this is gross) lots of nasal blockage….also known as boogers! We have been keeping the windows mostly closed and running the furnace blowers with no heat on to circulate the air with VentMask filters on the registers to assist the main filters in trapping the particulate from the fires. I hope they get this fire under control soon so our air quality clears up some. I have much more empathy for other people living close to a wildfire and having to deal with the effects of the smoke and ash, its quite uncomfortable to say the least! If it was a continual condition that I had to live with for weeks or months on end, till the fires either burned out or firefighters gained control of the blaze, I could see it being not only bothersome but a health concern breathing all that in day after day after day.
I can truly say if you live near a fire use VentMask to help keep the air inside your home cleaner and lessen the effects from smoke and ash, and remember these particulates travel hundreds of miles on the wind and can get to you even if the fire isn’t in your backyard.