Dense Smoke Advisory extended, poor air quality expected through Sunday at Tahoe
The National Weather Service has extended its Dense Smoke Advisory through the weekend for the Lake Tahoe Basin.
NWS issued the extension Friday due to fire activity and a light westerly wind.
The wind will push smoke from multiple ongoing California wildfires into the region and is forecast to settle in area valleys overnight.
Poor air quality is expected to last through Sunday morning, although conditions could improve in the afternoon hours, especially in the basin and mountain ranges, but will likely deteriorate overnight as smoke settles, NWS officials said.
South Lake Tahoe has “good” air quality as of Saturday morning while it is “unhealthy” across the lake in Incline Village and Crystal Bay.
Officials say the smoke advisory will be lifted at 11 a.m. Sunday, fire conditions permitting.
Officials are advising people to stay indoors as much as possible when the smoke is present, especially those sensitive to poor air quality such as the elderly, kids and anyone with respiratory problems.
Check airnow.gov for the latest air quality information.
The fires nearest to the basin likely sending in all the smoke are the North Complex, Slink and Fork fires. The North Complex is burning about two-three hours northwest of Tahoe while the Fork and Slink fires are south to southwest of the basin. The Creek Fire in Fresno County well south of the basin has also chewed up nearly 200,000 acres and is just 6% contained.
The North Complex in the Plumas National Forest is now over 252,000 acres with 21% containment. There have been nine deaths. The complex has three fires, the Bear, Sheep and Claremont, being managed as one.
South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue personnel were recently reassigned to support those on the front lines of the Bear Fire.
The Slink Fire near Coleville and Walker about 45 minutes south of Tahoe is at 25,131 acres but the spread has slowed and officials have it almost half way contained.
The Fork Fire several miles west of Tahoma and Tahoe’s West Shore, and 15 miles northeast of Pollock Pines is at 1,647 acres and is 7% contained. Local evacuation orders are in effect.
As of Saturday morning, Cal Fire says there are over 16,000 firefighters on 28 major wildfires in the state. Thirteen new wildfires were sparked Friday, but just one grew beyond the control of the initial response, in Siskiyou County.
Officials said improved weather conditions helped increase containment numbers on all fires.
Since the beginning of the year, fires have burned over 3.2 million acres, which is larger than the state of Connecticut and over four times the size of Rhode Island.
Since Aug. 15 when the lightning siege began, there have been 19 deaths and over 4,000 structures destroyed.For information on how to prepare for wildfire, visit http://www.ReadyForWildfire.org.
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