The Aug. 23, 2021, R-C Smoky Report

Saturday night's blue moon was more of an angry orange in this photo by Topaz Ranch Estates resident John Flaherty

Saturday night's blue moon was more of an angry orange in this photo by Topaz Ranch Estates resident John Flaherty


Genoa, Nev. — As of last night, the Caldor Fire was reported to have burned 104,309 acres and has come to within 26 miles of Minden. Firefighters report having a line around 5 percent of the fire. Highway 50 remains closed this morning between Meyers and Pollock Pines to all but local residents.

All those burning trees are sending volumes of smoke into Carson Valley. An air quality monitor in Minden is reading hazardous levels. The monitor in the Gardnerville Ranchos is offline. Stay inside as much as possible.

Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe are among the spots that will probably see the greatest smoke impact. There may be some brief breaks as the wind shifts in the afternoon, but the National Weather Service is betting the smoke will be with us through most of the week.

Visibility at Minden-Tahoe Airport has improved a little bit to 7 miles as of 6 a.m., up from a mile at 3 a.m., which is where the gauge was pegged for most of Sunday.

Expect one-way traffic on Highway 208 between Holbrook and Wellington starting today as the state resurfaces the route over the next week. Highway 338 will also see work on a 10-mile stretch south of Wellington

With the Douglas County Community & Senior Center dedicated as an evacuation center for the Caldor Fire this week, senior dining will be closed. The center will be distributing meals via curbside pick-up at the senior center’s south entrance. Active Meals on Wheels participants will receive their meals on schedule. Hopefully this will just be for this week.

Drive-through pickup will be 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today through Friday at the Topaz Ranch Estates Community Center and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at James Lee Park in Indian Hills.

Expect smoky skies in the Valley today with the high temperature hitting 87 degrees. The wind will pick up out of the west at 15-20 mph, which might help move some of the smoke around, at least.

Kurt Hildebrand is editor of The Record-Courier. Reach him at


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