American Fire Grows in Size, While Crews Increase Containment - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

American Fire Grows in Size, While Crews Increase Containment

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As of Saturday morning the American fire has burned just under 12 thousand acres west of Lake Tahoe. According to the U.S. Forest service containment has grown to 45 percent.

The Washoe County Health District says Friday's air quality level is in the moderate range. Earlier, it said residents could experience poor air quality through Sunday.

It released this message Friday afternoon:

Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion. Smoke from the American Fire in California continues to impact Washoe County. We are currently in the lower end of the Moderate range for the Reno/Sparks area with other portions of Washoe County experiencing higher concentrations. Due to the nature of the fire, rapid changes could result in elevated levels of fine particulates with any changes in wind direction or fire activity.  Early mornings and evening hours have had the highest concentrations with this fire with some relief during the afternoon. 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.

On Thursday, it said widespread haze and smoky conditions would continue to affect Southern Washoe County especially valley locations including Reno and Sparks. It is expected to remain in either the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups range or the Moderate range as wind and weather conditions change.

As for the American Fire, it's now more than 11,950 acres large and is 45% contained. It started Saturday afternoon 30 miles west of Lake Tahoe in the Deadwood Range, northeast of Forest Hill in the Tahoe National Forest.

Fire crews report the blaze is burning in heavy fuels on very steep slopes. More than 1,200 personnel are working to contain the blaze.

The wildfire remains under investigation.

The town of Foresthill is not in danger, and no evacuations have been ordered although individuals with active mining claims in the area are being contacted.

The U.S. Forest Service has closed all roads and trails therein including the Western States Trail and Forest Trail until further notice.

Effective August 16, only incident personnel and other authorized individuals are allowed to go into or be upon National Forest System lands within the closed area.

The closure area is defined as follows:
• The area south of the Foresthill Divide Road starting at Deadwood Ridge Road to Forest Road 43 at Robinson Flat.
• Forest Road 43, which is closed to Forest Road 44 (Cavanah Ridge Road), which is closed, to Forest Road 96 (Mosquito Ridge Road).
• North along Mosquito Ridge Road west to Section 26, Township 14 North, Range 11 East, Mount Diablo Base and Meridian.

The Mosquito Ridge Road is open to public traffic.

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