California fires cast pall over Carson

Hazy skies over Carson Country can be attributed to numerous fires south of the area, said Ray Collins, a forecaster with the National Weather Service.

"We are getting smoke here from several California fires, namely a fire in central Calaveras County and another in southern Tuolumne County," he said. "There's pretty good smoke coming from both of those and being carried here by a southwest wind blowing north to northeast."

Both Tuolumne and Calaveras are approximately 90 miles to the south of Carson City and 40 miles from each other.

Northern California firefighters are battling five blazes in the Sierra Foothills, Mariposa County, Ponderosa, Mendocino National Forest and Modoc National Forest.

Collins said the the Tuolumne and Calavares smoke is combining and coming into the valley, causing the overcast and smokey skies in the area since Sunday.

"It wasn't all that noticeable until Sunday, but it was nowhere near as bad as it is Monday," he said.

He said a shift in westerly winds would help to move the smoke off to the east.

"It looks like by (today) the wind shifts at least above the surface at 10,000 feet. If that wind does shift it should clear the skies this afternoon," he said.

Blanca Sifuentes, a registered nurse and administrative coordinator for Carson-Tahoe Hospital, said the smokey skies can prove hazardous for people suffering from asthma or other bronchial ailments.

"People should try to stay indoors, especially if you have asthma, sinus problems or hayfever. All this smoke will cause bronchial and nasal passages to swell and become irritated," she said.

Sifuentes suggested keeping outdoor excursions to a minimum and using the air conditioner to prevent opening windows and allowing the smoke inside.


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