Humidity Helps Crews Fighting California Wildfires - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Humidity Helps Crews Fighting California Wildfires

Posted: Updated:
Fire officials say light rain and increased humidity helped crews make progress against two wildfires in a Northern California forest that are just miles apart and are threatening hundreds of homes.
 
The smaller of the two fires in the Lassen National Forest is within sight of the small Shasta County town of Burney, though officials said it remained about 4 miles away on Tuesday morning.
 
The Eiler Fire, which has burned through nearly 45 square miles, did not grow substantially overnight. Crews also increased containment from 10% to 20%.
The fire is threatening more than 700 homes, some of which have been evacuated.

The nearby Bald Fire has forced the evacuation of about a dozen homes. U.S. Forest Service spokesman Jim Mackensen says containment on that fire jumped from 20% to 30% overnight. The fire has burned through 62 square miles.   (AP)

From the Washoe County Health District:

Smoke in Reno/Sparks
Our monitors have detected unhealthy levels of fine particulates (PM2.5) in Reno and Sparks.  Smoke from fires in California are causing air quality to deterioriate in Reno and Sparks. Currently, we are in the "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" range meaning people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion. Generally, during smoky conditions, reduce activity and stay indoors with the windows close.

From the National Weather Service:
"While this rain has brought some much needed moisture, it has also created a stable layer that is helping to trap pollutants near the surface.  There have been reports of a smoky smell mainly south of Reno. This can be attributed to some fires south of the Reno Metro area around Yosemite. Upper level wind flow has brought the smoke north while rain and stability duct it towards the surface. The unusual part is that rain would usually cleanse the air of these particulates, but this meteorological set-up is actually allowing for an increase."
This air quality update was issued by the Washoe County Health District, Air Quality Management Division. Visit www.OurCleanAir.com for more information.
For more information on the U.S. EPA's AIRNow Program, visit http://www.airnow.gov.

From the Washoe County Health District
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