It was an apocalyptic weekend across the West this weekend, but perhaps it was best demonstrated by Salt Lake City. On Friday, Salt Lake City ranked number one on IQAir as having the worst air quality on the planet. On Saturday, this improved slightly, but Salt Lake was still in the top five on the list. On Sunday, it ascended to the top spot again for a brief period following more smoke from Western wildfires.
The cause? Wildfires to the west of the state. In California, the Dixie Wildfire became the second-largest wildfire in the state’s history. With the wildfire being in Northern California, this portion of latitude with Northern Utah set the course for some of the air quality in the state this summer. Salt Lake City usually deals with terrible air quality inversions from a lack of precipitation and cold temperatures early in the winter, but it’s not typically this bad in the summer. KSL posted some terrifying pictures of the murky air.
Some ski resorts, like Snowbird and Alta, had to alter their summer operations and events. Snowbird shut down summer activities on Friday due to the eerie environment but reopened on Saturday. Alta Ski Area’s annual cleanup day on August Seventh got postponed due to the smoke.