Hazardous air pollution warning for Washoe County

The Alert Wildfire camera on Peavine Mountain shows bad air in the Reno area.
The Alert Wildfire camera on Peavine Mountain shows bad air in the Reno area.(Alert Wildfire)
Published: Sep. 13, 2020 at 9:20 AM PDT|Updated: Sep. 13, 2020 at 1:02 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - 1:01 P.M. UPDATE: As of 1 p.m. Reno’s air quality improved to 246, which rates as very unhealthy, which is better than hazardous.

ORIGINAL STORY: The Washoe County Health District has issued a Stage 2 Air Pollution Warning for Washoe County on Sunday morning.

The warning means residents should stay indoors and reduce activity due to increased health risks.

As of 9 a.m., the air quality index was 427 for Reno. The hazardous range starts at 300.

“This is the first Stage 2 warning ever issued by the Health District and is in place until further notice,” the district said in a statement.

The air quality index was in the very unhealthy range on Saturday and it is expected to be in the very unhealthy to hazardous today.

“Wildfires in the Plumas, Tahoe and Eldorado National Forests continue to contribute heavy smoke impacts in the Reno-Sparks area based on PM2.5 particle pollution, which are extremely small particles that can harm the heart and lungs,” the health district said.

The health district has these recommendations:

  • If you can see or smell smoke, avoid or reduce outdoor activities
  • Leave the smoke-impacted area until conditions improve, if possible
  • Stay indoors with the windows and doors closed; if possible, run the air conditioner on recirculation function
  • Limit outdoor exertion and physical activity
  • Avoid using a swamp cooler or whole-house fan to prevent bringing additional smoke inside
  • Face coverings that reduce the spread of COVID-19 do not protect you from wildfire smoke
  • N95 respirators can provide some protection but should be reserved for frontline health and emergency personnel during the pandemic

Copyright 2020 KOLO. All rights reserved.

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