Smoke Fills Utah Air

Smoke Fills Utah Air

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Sam Penrod Reporting Another plague of smoky skies strikes the Wasatch Front, but where is it coming from?

The stink of smoke that we all woke up to this morning has many people wondering if it's coming from those devastating wildfires in California. But the smoke is our smoke-- it's coming from right here in Utah from a late season wildfire that keeps growing.

An inversion this morning trapped the smoke in the valleys. And with any containment on the Springville fire still a couple of days away, the smoke probably will be hanging around.

For a third day, firefighters are battling the Cherry Creek Fire east of Springville. The apparent human-caused fire is still burning strong today and has already consumed one thousand acres.

Teresa Rigby, U.S. Forest Service: “Things are so dry right now, it's one of these fires that surprises us late in the season."

The fire is burning in steep terrain and is proving hard to contain. 130 people are now battling the wildfire.

Teresa Rigby, U.S. Forest Service: "If today doesn't go very well, if we don't make some real progress, we're probably going to have to look at bringing in additional resources."

Although the fire is relatively small compared to last month's Cascade Springs fire, the wind direction is sending smoke into the valley. So far the air quality along the Wasatch Front, although poor, has not reached the level of unhealthy.

Rick Sprott, Div. Of Air Quality: "Our earlier readings, they did increase substantially, not reach a dangerous level until the inversion broke when the sun came out about mid-day."

Officials believe it is unlikely Utah will get any smoke from the California fires, but say this one could still affect some people who suffer from respiratory conditions.

Rick Sprott, Div. Of Air Quality: "Even if we don't issue a warning, sensitive individuals may still have a problem. We've had a high pressure in the area for a long time now and i don't think the forecasters are expecting a front to come through until the weekend. So we could see this continue on for a few days if they don't get the fire under control."

While the fire continues to burn, the right fork of Hobble Creek Canyon remains closed. The cause of this fire is still under investigation.

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