Firefighters battling blazes everywhere as smoke fills basin
Air quality Friday is a little better on the South Shore of Lake Tahoe than it is on the North Shore.
According to airnow.gov, South Lake Tahoe has “moderate” air quality while Incline Village is “unhealthy” from wildfires burning throughout California.
The National Weather Service issued a Dense Smoke Advisory Thursday that was extended through 5 p.m. Friday. While the advisory ends Friday evening, the forecast for the weekend still calls for widespread smoke on Saturday and areas of smoke on Sunday.
There are several fires burning in Northern California but a big one is the North Complex in Plumas County that includes the Sheep, Bear and Claremont fires. Together they have burned nearly a quarter of a million acres and is 23% contained.
South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue personnel after working for 11 days on a complex in Butte, Tehama and Glenn counties, were reassigned Thursday to the Bear Fire.
There are also fires raging south to southwest of the basin, the Fork and Creek fires.
The Fork Fire burning south to southwest of Lake Tahoe in the Eldorado National Forest, right near the Placer County border, is the closest to the basin, about 15 or so miles away from Tahoma on the West Shore. The blaze is estimated to be 2,200 acres as of Friday morning based on drone and firefighter observations. But an infrared flight has not been available to give a more accurate size of the fire. The fire is 7% contained and has almost moved into Placer County.
With resources spread thin, there are five engines, three crews, two bulldozers and two water tenders fighting the fire. Additional resources were expected to arrive on scene Friday morning. About 60 people are involved and there have been two minor injuries.
The fire is in the Rubicon River drainage and the 2014 King Fire burn scar.
The Creek Fire well south of the basin began Sept. 4 in Fresno County chewed up trees and timber and has grown to 175,893 acres and is just 6% contained.
The Slink Fire near Topaz Lake and Coleville, about 45 miles south to southeast of Tahoe is 23,023 acres with a low rate of spread and is 40% contained.
Overall in California, more than 14,800 firefighters are battling 28 major wildfires that have burned 3.1 million acres. The acres burned this year is 26 times more than in 2019 during the same period, according to Cal Fire officials.
There have been 19 fatalities, including seven reported Thursday on the North Complex, and over 3,900 structures destroyed.
The smoke covering much of Northern California will hold down temperatures, but at compromised air quality.
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