Smoke from California makes its way to Southern Utah

ST. GEORGE — On Thursday morning as residents in St. George started their day, there seemed to be a hazy look in the sky.

Firefighter work on suppression efforts during the Lake Fire in Lake Hughes, California, August 2020 | Image courtesy of InciWeb, St. George News

The cause of the smoke rolling into Southern Utah is the Lake Fire, which is burning in the Angeles National Forest west of Lancaster, California.

The fire, burning near Lake Hughes, is up to 10,500 acres and is producing a large plume of smoke that has been seen around Southern California.

“Really the only fires we saw with significant growth yesterday, and that usually determines today’s air, were in Southern California and even down outside of Tijuana,” Utah Interagency Smoke Coordinator Paul Corrigan said. “The Lake Fire is definitely the one that reported the most growth, and looking at the satellites that looks like it’d be the source of any smoke you are seeing there.”

As smoke rolls into Southern Utah, the cause is the Lake Fire burning in Lake Hughes, California, August 2020 | Image courtesy of InciWeb, St. George News

Mark Struthwolf from the National Weather Service was able to confirm the report and Corrigan added that air quality monitoring stations in Washington and Iron counties are showing green air quality for particulate matter. From a health standpoint, Corrigan said there is not much danger in the current air quality.

There are also some small fires in Eastern Nevada near the Utah border, but there is not much heat being detected on the satellite, which is what creates the smoke plumes, according to Corrigan.

As for when the smoke may clear, Struthwolf said that clearer skies should be coming to Southern Utah as early as Friday afternoon, but they are more likely on Saturday.

“It looks like we probably have the best chance of seeing that smoke today and into tonight before the flow starts northernly,” Struthwolf said.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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