Unhealthy Air Quality; WCSD Recess, Outdoor Activities Canceled
The Washoe County Health District says smoke from the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park is creating unhealthy conditions.
It released this message Friday morning:
Smoke from the wildfires in California is impacting the Truckee Meadows. We anticipate the smoke to impact the Reno/Sparks area today and through the weekend. The smoke is expected to create "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" and "Unhealthy" conditions meaning 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.
24 hour average: 157 Unhealthy (PM2.5)
Visit www.ourcleanair.com for additional air quality information or call the Air Quality Hotline at 785-4110.
Douglas County Emergency Management and The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection are continuing to monitor air quality concerns from smoky conditions drifting into the valley there. NDEP air quality monitors in Gardnerville and Carson City indicates extremely elevated amounts of particulate matters in the air. Based on National Weather Service forecasts, NDEP expects very unhealthy air quality conditions to remain in Carson City and Douglas County throughout the weekend.
Due to this condition the Concert in the Park scheduled for Friday night in Minden is canceled.
The Washoe County School District is canceling recess and PE at all schools today because of the air quality. And afternoon (outdoor) athletics are also canceled.
Tonight's Reno Street Food is also canceled; it will be back next week for its usual 5pm time.
Despite the thick haze, planes have been landing and taking off all day at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Even though visability is low, officials say it has not led to any significant delays or cancellations. Still, if you have a flight, it's best to call your airline or check online, to make sure everything's on time.
HopeFest, Carson Tahoe Health's outdoor concert to support local cancer patients, has been canceled. HopeFest and the raffle for a new car or $10,000 will be rescheduled within the next 30 days. Event updates will be made available at www.carsontahoe.com/Hopefest or by calling 775-445-5161.
The 24th Annual Lake in the Sky Airshow scheduled for this Saturday, August 24th has been cancelled due to the air quality conditions which have been impacted by the two large fires outside of the Tahoe Basin. Also cancelled are this Sunday's Young Eagles Flights.
Dave Johnston, El Dorado County Air Pollution Control Officer with the El Dorado County Air Quality Management District has advised that the visibility has now been reduced to one mile visibility and that air quality conditions are at an "unhealthy" rating.
Tonight's Pre-Flight party with special guest speaker WWII Triple Ace "Bud" Anderson is still confirmed. The Pre-Flight party is being held at the Flight Deck located at Lake Tahoe Airport beginning at 5:30pm. "Bud" will be joined with Vietnam Fighter Pilots Pete "Viper" Pettigrew & Mike "Wizard" McCabe. Don't miss this special event and your chance to mingle with aviation legends past and present. The party will go from 5:30-9:00 PM at the Flight Deck Restaurant located at 1901 Airport Road in South Lake Tahoe featuring food specials and live music. This event is open to the public. This event is FREE.
Lake Tahoe Airport (TVL) remains open at this time.
The Expedition Man triathlon is scheduled to happen in Lake Tahoe this weekend, although organizers say they're closing monitoring the air quality. The Washoe County Sheriff's Office would like to inform residents and visitors that there will be bicyclists and runners on the streets of Washoe County and that they can expect traffic delays from 6:00 am to 11:00 p.m. occurring from:
Northbound Old US 395N from Carson City to the north end of Eastlake Boulevard.
Additionally, some cyclists will make two laps around Washoe Lake by riding southbound on Eastlake to northbound Old US 395 and back around to Eastlake.
All cyclists will proceed on Alternate US395 through Pleasant Valley to the Mt. Rose junction.
The Sheriff's Office is advising motorists to use caution and allow additional travel time to their destinations while sharing the roads with 300 anticipated participants. The Sheriff's office is asking the public to avoid those routes if possible.
Meanwhile, the Rim Fire grew overnight to more than three times the size of the city of San Francisco as it spread inside the border of Yosemite National Park.
The flames have also forced the evacuations of hundreds from homes.
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Daniel Berlant said Friday the blaze had grown from 99 square miles to more than 165 square miles and was only 2% contained.
Berlant said the fire threatens about 4,500 residences.
While Yosemite remains open, the wildfire caused the closure of a 4-mile stretch of State Route 120, one of three entrances into Yosemite on the west side, devastating areas that rely on tourism.
In the next 24 hours, the fire is expected to continue up the Tuolumne River canyon, and continue its spread north and east.
The fire remains under investigation.
(The Associated Press, Washoe County Sheriff's Office, Douglas County, City of South Lake Tahoe also contributed to this report.)