This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
Alex Cabrero ReportingAuthorities say they're making progress on wildfires still burning in Southern Utah. The biggest, Diamond Complex, has charred more than 11-thousand acres. It's 75 percent contained, but tonight, another warning, not for the fire but for the smoke. The Department of Environmental Quality has issued a health advisory.
You don't have to be an expert to know this isn't normal. In a part of a state known for its red rock, all this smoke has often left a red sun. Wildfire season is definitely here.
Sandi Probst, Winchester Hills: “There is a lot of dry grass and we still have two months of lightning, so we’re not over it yet.”
Sandi Probst has lived in Washington County long enough to know the dangers, but now another danger. The department of environmental quality says because of all the smoke, the air isn't all that good.
Bryce Bird, Utah Dept. of Environmental Quality: "The advisory is only for the sensitive people, so the very young, the very old, those that already have a compromised respiratory system."
In other words, if you have trouble breathing, be careful.
Bryce Bird: "What you're going to feel is burning in your eyes, burning in the back of your throat, maybe a tight feeling in the chest or something that doesn't quite feel right."
Kent Farnsworth knows at least one elderly couple in Winchester Hills who already did what they had to, to stay safe.
Kent Farnsworth, Winchester Hills: "We had a few neighbors, older neighbors, they decided to leave their homes."
How long the advisory stands depends on how long the fires burn. But even if you can't see flames on the mountain ridges, you can feel the smoke it produces.
Bryce Bird: “When you’re in smoke, you know it.”
Bird says those who could be affected shouldn't exert themselves too much outside.