Lake Tahoe Basin under air quality alert, dense smoke advisory as fire rages near Yosemite
July 20, 2017
With the Detwiler Fire continuing to grow near Yosemite National Park, the Tahoe Basin and surrounding area remain inundated with smoke, which led authorities to issue several warnings related to air quality.
A dense smoke advisory is in effect until 5 p.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. The large plume of smoke from the fire, which is burning in Mariposa County, is impacting areas throughout the Sierra and western Nevada.
Visibility, according to NWS, is ranging from 2 to 5 miles, with visibility of less than a mile possible along the eastern slopes of the Sierra and around the Tahoe Basin and Alpine and Douglas counties.
— NWS Reno (@NWSReno) July 20, 2017
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An air quality alert also is in effect for the region. Those who are sensitive to air pollution, including people with respiratory illnesses, are advised to avoid strenuous activities and remain indoors if possible. NWS also advises keeping windows and doors closed to avoid letting the smoke inside buildings.
Unhealthy air quality is expected to linger in the area at least into Friday, possibly longer.
Thursday is the third consecutive day that the Tahoe Basin has been cloaked in thick smoke from the 5-day-old Detwiler Fire. More than 3,000 firefighters are battling the blaze, which has scorched 109 square miles so far, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency to bring additional resources for fighting the fire.
The Associated Press reports 6,000 firefighters were battling 17 wildfires across California.
Click here for the latest Air Quality Index.
What to do during wildfire smoke events
Stay indoors with windows and doors closed; run air-conditioner on "recirculate" setting.
Keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.
Minimize the use of swamp coolers. If it becomes too warm indoors, individuals may consider leaving the area to seek alternative shelter.
Do not add to indoor pollution. When smoke levels are high, do not use anything that burns, such as candles, fireplaces, or gas stoves.
Do not vacuum, because vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home.
Do not smoke, because smoking puts even more pollution into the air.
Follow your doctor's advice about medicines and about your respiratory management plan if you have asthma or another lung disease. Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen.
If you evacuate, make sure you take all essential medications along with you.
Do not rely on dust masks or N95 respirators for protection. If you wish to wear something, use a wet handkerchief or bandana to cover your mouth and nose. The key – keep it moist.
When driving make sure to drive with the windows rolled up and the air conditioner on "recirculate."
Minimize or stop outdoor activities, especially exercise, during smoky conditions.
People who must spend time outdoors should drink plenty of fluids.
Additionally, pet owners should consider bringing their pets indoors out of the unhealthy air conditions, if possible. This is especially important for older pets.
Carson City Health and Human Services
Scroll to the bottom for advice on what to do in the event of heavy smoke.
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