Smoke will remain in basin a while |

Smoke will remain in basin a while

Gregory Crofton, Tahoe Daily Tribune

Get used to the layer of smoke sitting on the lake and clouding the skies because it’s not likely to move out of Lake Tahoe Basin soon.

The smoke in the air, at first produced by the McNalley fire, a 143,000-acre blaze in Southern California that on Tuesday was 87 percent contained, is being added to by the Showers fire. The hazy skies aren’t the greatest, but so far, the poor air quality has not sent anyone at South Shore to the hospital for respiratory treatment.

The dispatch center at South Lake Tahoe Police Department reported no smoke-related medical calls. The emergency room at Barton Memorial Hospital, and its clinic across the street, also reported no increase for such calls.

On Tuesday, people were still enjoying the outdoors, biking and running, and out taking care of errands. Grant Faulkner smoked a cigarette and waited for his laundry.

“(The smoke) hasn’t had any effect at all,” Faulkner, 24, said. “It makes the sunsets nice. The last couple nights have been pretty rad.”

Nicole Nieland, 20, picked up her dog after a grooming session at a salon.

“I smelled it a little bit last night, but that’s about it,” she said. “You can see it a little bit in the air.”

Forecasters say a low pressure system is moving toward South Shore and blowing smoke from the fires toward the southeast corner of the lake.

“I would think it will stay smoky for quite a bit,” said Al Cox, program manager at the National Weather Service center at Reno. “But we are expecting good conditions later in the week, partly cloudy skies with a chance of thunderstorms through Friday morning.”

Visibility at Lake Tahoe Airport, where the weather service has a monitoring station, was only five miles on Monday while it had cleared to seven miles as of Tuesday morning, Cox said.

Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or at

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