Smoke From Yosemite Rim Fire; Unhealthy Air Quality
The smoke is coming from the Rim Fire near Yosemite which has burned 84+ square miles and is nowhere near contained. The air quality is now in the unhealthy range.
The Washoe County Health District says if you are sensitive to the smoke, stay inside, if possible. Remain indoors with the windows closed and air conditioning on and reduce prolonged or heavy exertion while outdoors.
It released this message Thursday afternoon:
Smoke from the Rim Fire in California is impacting the Truckee Meadows. Although our 24 hr average and AirNow AQI indicates the Good/Moderate ranges, rapid changes have created Unhealthy levels. An AQI in the "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" and "Unhealthy" ranges means that people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should avoid prolonged exertion; everyone else should limit prolonged exertion. If the smoke is affecting you, remain indoors with the windows closed and air conditioning on and reduce any outdoor activity.
Visit www.ourcleanair.com for additional air quality information or call the Air Quality Hotline at 785-4110.
Douglas County Emergency Management and The Bureau of Pollution Control are closely monitoring the air quality area there. The most recent air samples from this afternoon put the currently air quality in the upper end of the moderate level in the Carson Valley. This is likely to move into the 'unsafe' category within the next few hours.
The Rim Fire is currently threatening about 2,500 homes, hotels and camp buildings.
Fire officials on Thursday said the fire had grown to 53,860 acres and was only 2% contained, down from 5% Wednesday. California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency. Brown issued the declaration Thursday, freeing up funds and firefighting resources for the blaze.
The fire has destroyed two homes and seven outbuildings and led to the voluntary evacuation of the gated summer community of Pine Mountain Lake, which has a population of 2,800.
The fire also caused the closure of a 4-mile stretch of State Route 120, one main path into Yosemite on the west side. The park remains open and can be accessed via state Routes 140 and 41 and State Route 120 from the east side.
The fire remains under investigation.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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