Carson City residents advised to remain indoors as Rim fire rages

The sun is seen through the smoke from the Gardnerville Ranchos on Thursday afternoon.

The sun is seen through the smoke from the Gardnerville Ranchos on Thursday afternoon.

The Rim fire in Stanislaus National Forest west of Yosemite National Park has grown to 105,000 acres, and it continues to send smoke into Carson City.

Carson City Health and Human Services continues to recommend that people stay indoors until smoke clears from the Rim fire and others. Major wildfires burning in California, as well as small fires caused by lightning strikes, have been pushing heavy smoke into Carson City on Thursday and today.

“The smoke can be dangerous, especially for people who already have breathing problems,” said Cortney Bloomer, health educator for Health and Human Services. “It’s an air pollutant.”

An air quality advisory was issued about 6 p.m. Thursday from the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection. NDEP said that high amounts of particulate matter were found in the air, indicating the air quality is unhealthy. Lyon County also urged its residents to stay inside.

The Rim fire grew from about 16,200 acres Wednesday evening to more than 58,000 acres Thursday and is about 2 percent contained, according to Sierra Front Wildfire Cooperators.

“Building high pressure may mean the area will be experiencing heavy smoke for days,” Sierra Front issued in a release.

All AYSO soccer practices were canceled Thursday, and Carson High School’s football and soccer teams moved practice indoors.

Richard Stokes, superintendent of the Carson City School District, said each school made its own determination about whether to send children outside for recess.

“Some determined it was best to keep them in,” he said. “Others thought it was OK to go outside.”

Bloomer said people should avoid spending any length of time outside.

“People should stay inside and especially avoiding any activity outside,” she said. “Don’t exercise outside. We have plenty of beautiful days to be active outdoors in Northern Nevada. Today isn’t one of them.”

She said people should close their windows once inside. Air conditioners are OK, she said, but she cautioned against using swamp coolers as they may bring the smoke indoors.

Conditions were similar in Reno, where the Washoe County Health District’s Air Quality Management Division warned the public of potential poor air quality through Sunday. It rated the air quality “unhealthy” and advised residents to stay indoors when possible.

Smoke also is blowing into the region from the 16,812-acre American fire, which has been burning in Foresthill, Calif., since Aug. 10.

Tahoe National Forest officials reported five small wildfires in the Lake Tahoe region, created by lightning strikes Wednesday. Officials say those fires were contained Thursday morning.

Lisa Heron, Tahoe National Forest public-affairs specialist, said each of those fires was between a quarter-acre and a full acre. The fires are in Christmas Valley, Echo Summit, Blackwood Canyon and Heavenly Valley.

Tahoe National Forest is at “high” wildfire-danger status, the third-highest level of fire danger.


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