Air quality improves though haze lingers in Carson Valley |

Air quality improves though haze lingers in Carson Valley

Deer forage in Genoa on Sunday morning.
Kurt Hildebrand

A third day of relief from the dense smoke dawned on Sunday. 

While still hazy, air quality at the Gardnerville Ranchos monitor was down to 54 or moderate at 6 a.m. Visibility at Minden-Tahoe Airport was its typical 10 miles.

National Weather Service forecasters say the level of smoke on Sunday should be similar to that on Saturday with the worst conditions near the North Complex Fire in northeastern California and in Mono and Mineral counties from the Creek fire.

The forecast beyond Sunday becomes as hazy as the skies, according to the forecast.

The return of southwest winds on Monday afternoon could push more smoke into Carson Valley, but that depends on the fires, Meteorologist Evan LaGuardia said on Sunday.

The 26,762-acre Slink Fire burning southwest of Gardnerville near Coleville is 84 percent contained. The fire is expected to be contained by Sept. 26. The fire, set by lightning on Aug. 31, cost $13.4 million to fight.

The Creek Fire burning southwest of Yosemite National Park grew by 23,682 acres to 271,938 acres according to Sunday’s National Interagency Coordination Center situation report. Nearly 3,000 firefighters have a line around a quarter of the fire with full containment by mid-October. The Creek Fire has claimed 842 structures and has cost $55.5 million to fight.

Fire fighters have a line around 62 percent of the 289,981-acre North Complex, which isn’t expected to be contained until Nov. 12. According to Sunday’s report, 3,100 firefighters, including some from the East Fork Fire District, are battling the blaze, which has claimed 1,129 structures and cost $83.3 million to fight.

As big as it is, the North Complex is only the second biggest fire burning in California.

The August Complex has grown to 744,085 acres and is only 34 percent contained. It is burning in the Mendocino National Forest north of Ukiah.

The forecast for this week is for widespread haze with high temperatures in the 80s and lows in the 40s.