Winds may bring more wildfire smoke to Reno-Sparks

Reported by: Terri Hendry
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Updated: 7/28/2014 9:44 pm
RENO, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- You can see haze in the Truckee Meadows from two separate wildfires burning in California. On Monday, the air quality in the Truckee Meadows was in the "moderate" range; however, the air quality could get worse by mid-week because of a change in the weather.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Chris Smallcomb said the winds may change this week. "As we get towards Wednesday, and beyond this week, the winds turn back to a southwesterly direction, so if those fires are still going, the smoke could come back into the area."

In addition to the weather, another factor that will determine how much smoke the Truckee Meadows will see in the next few days is whether firefighters can make a lot of progress fighting the two wildfires. The Sand Fire is burning north of Plymouth, California at the El Dorado-Amador County line. By Monday afternoon, fire crews had started to gain the upper hand, getting 65-percent containment. Some evacuations were lifted; however, the fire has already burned 3,800 acres and destroyed 13 homes.

The fire on the west side of Yosemite National Park is proving to be more of a challenge. It is burning near El Portal, California. It started Saturday and was only 5-percent contained by Monday afternoon.

The air quality is being watched and monitored for smoke from the wildfires. "What we have learned from last year is the air pollution level changes very quickly," Washoe County Air Quality Division spokesperson Daniel Inouye said.

Inouye also said if you are elderly, have an underlying health condition or have young children, you should be watching the air quality levels. 

Visit the Washoe County Health Department or AirNow to learn more about air quality and wildfire smoke protection.
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