Fire Near Lake Tahoe Sends Smoke into Truckee Meadows - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Fire Near Lake Tahoe Sends Smoke into Truckee Meadows

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Hazy skies are filling the Truckee Meadows as fire crews work to contain the American Fire burning in the Tahoe National Forest.

The 1,200 acre started Saturday about 30 miles west of Lake Tahoe, northeast of Foresthill, California. The fire remains under investigation.

As you may have already noticed the wildfire is pushing a lot of smoke into our area.

Monitoring stations are set up from Lemmon Valley to Incline Village getting a reading on how polluted the air is. "This is our continuous PM monitor. It monitors for fine particulates. It draws in ambient air from outside, comes down and then runs it through our filter tape, here," says Daniel Inouye of Washoe County Health District.

On days like today, smoke brings in fine particulates or PM 2.5. "It is about 1/30 the size of a human hair, so these are the particulates that go way down deep into your respiratory system and give you problems."

Early Monday afternoon, the air quality index was in the moderate range.

The worst times of the day for these particulates is usually in the late night and early morning -- when winds are typically calmer. For an area that is prone to wildfires, Inouye says this summer hasn't been too bad, from an air quality. "Overall, we've had a clean summer, as far as wildfires go, but this one seems to be impacting the Truckee Meadows most."

If you're sensitive to smoke, you're urged to stay inside.

After a brief clearing of the smoke this afternoon, smoke will settle into the Reno/Sparks area again overnight. 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. Visit www.ourcleanair.com for additional air quality information or call the Air Quality Hotline at 785-4110.

While wind could clear out some of this smoke, Inouye says it also could move more smoke into the area. He says we can expect this type of air quality for the next couple of days.

As for the fire, there are no current road closures, but people are being asked to stay out of the fire area for their own safety and the safety of firefighting personnel. The town of Foresthill is not endangered, and no evacuations have been ordered although individuals with active mining claims in the area are being contacted.

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