Tuesday PM info from Washoe County Health:
Smoke from the American Fire in California is impacting the Truckee Meadows. Fine particulates remain elevated into the Moderate range despite the decrease in ambient concentrations from yesterday. After a brief clearing of the smoke today, smoke may settle into the Reno/Sparks area overnight and into Wednesday morning depending on fire activity and wind direction. If you feel the smoke is affecting you, remain indoors with the windows closed and air conditioning on and reduce prolonged or heavy exertion while outdoors.
Maximum AQI 79 Moderate (PM2.5)
Wednesday, August 14: AQI Moderate (PM2.5)
Monday, August 12: AQI 93 Moderate (PM2.5)
Visit www.ourcleanair.com for additional air quality information or call the Air Quality Hotline at 785-4110.
RENO, NV - Smoke that is choking our community is coming from a fire burning in the Tahoe National Forest, outside Foresthill. It's burning in a remote area in very steep and rugged terrain.
Since it began Saturday, fire crews estimate the American Fire has scorched some 1900 acres as of Tuesday night. But because the smoke is so thick, it's been hard to get a good map of the flames. It's also making it hard to get a handle on the fire, and at this time, there is no containment. That means no estimate on when the air here in our community will clear out.
For the first day of school, fewer kids than normal were on Washoe school playgrounds, because those with breathing issues were kept inside.
"We really don't want to cancel outside activities unless we have to, but of course that has to be balanced against the health and safety of the child," said Dana Balchunas, Director of Health for Washoe County Schools.
Smoke rolling into the valley can be unhealthy for sensitive groups.
"Generally the smaller the particle, the further down into the respiratory system it can go into your body, so we are more concerned with PM 2.5," said Daniel Inouye with Washoe County Air Quality.
Officials monitor particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns, the fraction of the width of a human hair, and there is a lot of it in wildfire smoke.
"The pollution levels are in the moderate range right now. It is worse in the late night and early morning hours when the winds are calm and the pollution settles into the valley," said Inouye
Doctors say the current levels of smoke are not of grave concern to the average person, but can cause problems for others.
"Young infants and young children whose lungs have not matured or for the elderly who have maybe some lung issues, or for people with chronic lung disease, like asthma," said Dr. Vanessa Slots of Renown Regional Medical Center.
The best way to avoid the smoke is to stay out of it.
"Keep windows closed, stay indoors, run your air conditioner if you are able and your fans if you are not," said Slots.
The wildfire in California that's producing this smoke continues to grow, so our air quality situation may continue like this for the next few days.