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October 21, 2021
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Smoke over Utah coming from Oregon and California

Image of the smoke forecast for Utah shows smoke gathering in the state.
(National Weather Service of Salt Lake City.)

SALT LAKE CITY — There are wildfires burning in Utah this weekend, but the smoke you may be seeing right now isn’t coming from those fires.

Instead, the National Weather Service reported Saturday afternoon that the smoke moving across the Beehive State originated in southern Oregon and northern California.

In a tweet, the National Weather Service used a video diagram to show a loop, representing the smoke forecast which they expect to play out from Saturday afternoon through noon on Monday, July 12.

“Darker reds and purple indicate higher concentrations of smoke,” the tweet reads.

The NWS also explained that what you see in the diagram is vertically-integrated smoke, “which is the total concentration of smoke through the atmosphere, not just smoke at the surface.”

As of Saturday afternoon, the largest fire burning in Utah is the Morgan Canyon Fire, which continues to burn in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. It burns in rugged and rocky terrain, 12 miles west of Stockton.

The National Interagency Fire Center reported that, as of Saturday, six large fires were still burning in California (and dozens more which are not considered large). The largest is the Beckwourth Complex fire which has burned over 55,000 acres of the Plumas National Forest.

The same agency reports that in Oregon, seven large fires are burning. The largest is the Bootleg fire which by Saturday afternoon had burned nearly 77,000 acres of the Fremont-Winema National Forest.

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Simone Seikaly

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