Elderly, Young Most Affected By Poor Air Quality Due To Smoke

Aug 30, 2019, 7:08 PM | Updated: Jan 4, 2023, 11:57 am

BOUNTIFUL, Utah – Smoke from the Gun Range Fire in Bountiful and Centerville had a big effect on air quality on Friday as high winds fueled the flames and pushed smoke miles across the valley.

Holbrook Elementary and at least eight other elementary schools in Davis County kept kids inside today, to keep their lungs healthy.

“We have a lot of kids that sometimes have some respiratory issues,” said Holbrook Principal Neesha Killpack. “We just want to make sure they feel safe and we just don’t want them to breathe anything toxic or bad so we just make sure they stay in the building.”

Some assisted living centers in Davis County also kept residents inside Friday. High winds Friday helped fueled the flames and smoke from the fire.

“For some reason, we had east canyon winds last night,” said Chuck Gilmore. “Not just a breeze off the mountain, we had really strong east canyon winds.”

Folks in Centerville kept a close eye on the fire as it inched closer and closer to their neighborhood.

“Oh my heck, it went so fast that I didn’t dare go back in and go to bed because I thought if that jumps the fire break road that’s coming towards us,” said Emily Lauder.

Holbrook Elementary was right in the vicinity of the fire.

“We had some families that were evacuated last night,” Killpack said.

Doctors say when the air is smoky, kids are most at risk along with the elderly and people with medical issues, such as asthma. However, it’s bad for everyone to breathe smoky air.

“We’re all affected,” said Dr. Denitza Blagev, a pulmonologist with Intermountain Medical Center. “So even if you’re a perfectly healthy young person and you have no medical problems, breathing in that smoke and pollution is still really bad for you.”

And just because you can’t see the bad air, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

“Sometimes it doesn’t look that bad and the fine particulates are quite high and we should still be concerned,” Blagev said. 

Doctors recommended checking the air quality throughout the weekend, even outside of the Davis County area because smoke will blow into other parts of Utah. 

They also if you’re in an area where air pollution is high, you should try to stay indoors, run your AC and make sure your air filters are clean.

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Elderly, Young Most Affected By Poor Air Quality Due To Smoke