Wildfire Query Module Configuration Selection
OverviewWildfire frequency is dependent on a delicate balance between precipitation, heat, abundance of fuel (e.g., grass) and natural or human-caused ignition. No one aspect specifically causes a wildfire, but the relationship between these different factors can determine a high- or low-frequency wildfire season. A heavy snow-pack in the winter with a wet spring and a slow transition from cool to warm weather could result in a low wildfire season. Consequently, a dry winter, rapid heating in the spring, and an abundance of dry grass could lead to a high-frequency fire season. Although research is limited, it is suspected that climate change could interfere with this multi-factorial balance and potentially alter wildfire frequency. Climate change affects seasonal precipitation and temperature, so it is possible that less precipitation and higher temperatures due to changes in the climate could increase the frequency of wildfires.
Wildfires can adversely affect human health, primarily through exposure to smoke. Smoke is made up of a complex mixture of gases and fine particles produced when wood and other organic materials burn. The biggest health threat from smoke is from fine particles. These microscopic particles can get into your eyes and respiratory system, where they can cause health problems such as burning eyes, runny nose, and illnesses such as bronchitis. Wildfire smoke negatively affects everyone, but individuals with preexisting conditions such as heart or lung disease, COPD, emphysema or asthma may have worse symptoms. Fine particles also can aggravate chronic heart and lung diseases - and are even linked to premature deaths in people with these conditions.
If the wildfire is severe enough or if there is a high frequency of fires producing an abundance of smoke, even healthy individuals may experience these symptoms.
For more information on current fires please go to [https://www.utahfireinfo.gov/ the Utah Fire Information website]. Current air quality can also be viewed at [http://www.health.utah.gov/utahair/. ]