Smoke from surrounding wildfires fills Tahoe Basin |

Smoke from surrounding wildfires fills Tahoe Basin

Eric Heinz

Douglas County Emergency Management and The Bureau of Pollution Control reported air quality in the Tahoe and Carson Valley areas could be categorized as "unsafe" soon, as smoke from the Rim Fire in Sonora billowed into the area Wednesday and Thursday.

The fire was estimated to be 54,000 acres as of Thursday, with most recent air samples classified as "moderate" levels in the Carson Valley.

NOAA radar shows smoke from the fire is traveling north to the area.

Additionally, smoke in the South Shore area continues to flow into the city from the American fire, which began Aug. 10. The fire was reported Wednesday to be 16,779 acres.

Tahoe National Forest officials have reported that five small wildfires in the area, created by lightning strikes Wednesday, are contained.

U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Lisa Herron, of the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit said each of the fires were a quarter-acre to a full acre. The fires are located in Christmas Valley, Echo Summit, Blackwood Canyon and Heavenly Valley.

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"As far as this morning, they were still burning," Herron said, adding fire crews have been on scene since Wednesday.

Tahoe National Forest is at "high" wildfire danger status, the third-highest level of fire danger, she said.

A news release from Douglas County said people should consider limiting "strenuous outdoor activity" to not risk having any health problems.

"People who may be especially sensitive to elevated levels of pollutants include the very young, the elderly and those with pre-existing respiratory problems such as asthma and/or heart disease," a news release from Douglas County stated. "Those with symptoms should consider consulting with their personal physician."

A map of the smoke and the fire can be viewed at .

Information is updated frequently at the Tahoe National Forest website,

Visit a map from NOAA.

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