Dense Smoke Advisory remains in effect for Tahoe Basin | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Dense Smoke Advisory remains in effect for Tahoe Basin

The view Tuesday morning from DL Bliss State Park on Lake Tahoe's West Shore.
Provided / Alertwildfire.org

Wildfires continue to rage throughout California sending more smoke into the Lake Tahoe Basin.

The National Weather Service on Monday afternoon issued another Dense Smoke Advisory for the Tahoe region lasting through Tuesday evening, although areas of smoke and widespread haze are in the forecast through Thursday.

NWS said the near-surface smoke concentration may improve during Tuesday afternoon but degrades during the morning and evening hours. The heaviest areas of smoke will be in the Carson Valley, Smith Valley, Hawthorne and Northeastern California.

The air quality in South Lake Tahoe Tuesday morning is “moderate” according to airnow.gov while across the lake in Incline Village the air is “unhealthy.” Although on iqair.com and purpleair.com, the air quality is showing unhealthy for the South Shore.

Officials say visibility may be below 1 mile in some areas and to stay indoors as much as possible when smoke is present. Avoid strenuous activity, especially if you are sensitive to poor air quality, such as the elderly, children and anyone with chronic illness or respiratory problems.

Wildfires continue to burn all around Lake Tahoe including the deadly North Complex in the Plumas National Forest about 2-3 hours northwest of the basin. The North Complex is over 264,000 acres and includes the Sheep, Bear and Claremont fires being managed as one. The lightning caused blazes are 38% contained as of Monday evening.

The complex has claimed 14 lives, destroyed dozens of structures and over 3,000 people are trying to contain the fires.

South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue personnel returned home to the basin on Monday after responding to four separate incidents and 30 days out of the county, the latest assignment was the Bear Fire. 

The Fork Fire burning about 15 miles northeast of Pollock Pines to Lake Tahoe’s west, is at about 1,700 acres and is chewing up already burned trees in steep, remote terrain.

It is about 7% contained and there are 300 people fighting the blaze. Officials are hopeful that it can be contained by Tuesday, Sept. 22.

The Slink Fire reported Aug. 29 southwest of Topaz Lake, about an hour south of the basin, has grown to 26,709 acres and is 60% contained. When it sparked, the communities of Coleville and Walker were evacuated and U.S. Highway 395 was closed for about 24 hours. The evacuations since have been lifted.

Overall, 3.2 million acres have been burned throughout the state according to Cal Fire. That’s larger than Connecticut and more than four times larger than Rhode Island.

Since Aug. 15 when the lightning siege began, there have been 24 deaths and over 4,200 structures destroyed. There are 16,500 firefighters working to gain containment on 28 major wildfires.

Five of the top 20 largest fires in the state have occurred in 2020. The North Complex is the seventh deadliest wildfire ever in the state and is the ninth largest.


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