Dense Smoke Advisory issued for Tahoe; reduced air quality, visibility expected |

Dense Smoke Advisory issued for Tahoe; reduced air quality, visibility expected

It's already smoky Thursday morning at Lake Tahoe.
Justine Dhollande / Tahoe Daily Tribune

Dense smoke is expected to return to the Lake Tahoe Basin bringing unhealthy air quality and reduced visibility.

The National Weather Service in Reno says smoke from the North Complex and the Fork Fire will push into the region late Thursday afternoon and likely last through the weekend depending on wildfire activity, although officials say it’s difficult to predict the smoke further out than 24 hours.

The Fork Fire in the Pacific Ranger District of the Eldorado National Forest has grown to 2,500 acres as of 10 p.m. Wednesday and is zero percent contained. The blaze spread away from the Tahoe Basin and the West Shore due to eastern winds

The fire is in the Rubicon River drainage and the 2014 King Fire burn scar. The river is steep and remote officials said and is exhibiting rapid rates of spread.

El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office issued a mandatory evacuation for Volcanoeville, Quintet and Stumpy Meadows Tuesday night after the blaze sparked that morning, affecting approximately 600 residents. An evacuation center is set up at the Cool Community Church at 863 Cave Valley Rd. in Cool. The Georgetown community is not under the evacuation order at this time. 

There are about 70 people working on the blaze and officials hope to have full containment by Tuesday, Sept. 22.

The North Complex which includes the Claremont, Sheep and Bear fires, started Aug. 17 and has burned over a quarter of a million acres. There are over 1,300 men and women working on the complex and officials are hoping to have full containment by Sunday, Sept. 20.

With the fires still burning away, the wind will shift and smoke is expected to fill the basin starting today.

Officials advise staying indoors when the heavy smoke is present and avoid strenuous activity, especially kids, seniors and those with respiratory problems.

Check for the latest air quality.

The high temperatures over the next few days are expecting to be 70-74 with the lows in the low 50s with 5 to 10 mph winds.

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