SWEETWATER COUNTY — According to the National Weather Service (NWS), Sweetwater County has been issued both a Red Flag Warning and an Air Quality Alert.
According to the NWS, Sweetwater, Uinta and Lincoln counties are all under a Red Flag Warning from Thursday, September 24, until 9 pm and again on Friday, September 25 from 1-7 pm. These counties will see dry and windy conditions leading to critical fire weather conditions.
A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will be shortly. A combination of strong winds, relatively low humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.
Wind gusts are anticipated to reach up to 40 mph with temperatures in the upper 70s to lower 80s.
As for the Air Quality Alert, a special weather statement from the NWS states the alert is related to wildfire smoke and will run through Friday, September 25, at noon.
Sweetwater, Fremont, Sublette, Lincoln, Teton, Big Horn, Hot Springs, Johnson, Washakie, Park, and Natrona counties have received this alert.
As for impacts, thick smoke from wildfires have been observed across much of Western and Central Wyoming.
The WDH is recommending that elderly, young children, and individuals with respiratory problems avoid excessive physical exertion and minimize outdoor activities during this time. Wildfire smoke contains a variety of pollutants, including matter and ozone, which can cause respiratory health effects.
Even though these individuals are most susceptible to health impacts, the WDH is also advising that everyone should avoid prolonged exposure to poor air-quality conditions.
The message was put together with a collaboration from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Air Quality Division, and the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH).