Carson City area air quality to fluctuate between 'very unhealthy' and 'unhealthy'
Air quality in Carson City, Carson Valley and Lyon County will likely straddle between "unhealthy" and "very unhealthy" conditions through at least the week, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection reports.
Smoke and ash from the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park is being pushed in the atmosphere directly over the region causing extremely elevated amounts of particulate matter. The levels of particulate matter equate to “Very Unhealthy” on the Air Quality Index (AQI) level of health concern, according to a news release.
Fine particulate matter known as PM2.5 is comprised of microscopic particles that can travel deep into our lungs and is the pollutant of concern found in wildfire smoke. While everybody may experience varying degrees of symptoms, persons in the sensitive groups category include children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory and heart conditions are of greatest risk at experiencing more aggravated symptoms and serious complications.
Smoke can irritate the eyes and airways, causing coughing, a scratchy throat, irritated sinuses, headaches, stinging eyes or a runny nose.
If you have heart or lung disease, smoke might make your symptoms worse. People with heart disease might experience chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath, or fatigue. People with lung disease may not be able to breathe as deeply or as vigorously as usual, and they may experience symptoms such as coughing, phlegm, chest discomfort, wheezing and shortness of breath. If you are experiencing such symptoms, please contact your healthcare professional or call 9-1-1 for an ambulance.
In general, if you smell smoke and feel it’s affecting you, then take precautions such as:
• Staying indoors with the windows and doors closed and air conditioner on.
• Limiting prolonged or heavy exertion and physical activity while outdoors.
• Drinking plenty of fluids.
Persons experiencing questionable or severe symptoms should contact their healthcare professional if they have any questions.
Visit www.nvair.ndep.nv.gov to view a map of Nevada with current hour by hour recap of the air quality index (AQI), precautions to take and any health advisories.
Here's the latest from the National Weather Service regarding the smoke:
The Rim Fire near Yosemite continues to actively burn, producing a large smoke plume. The American Fire is also burning actively, but is better contained and is not putting off as large of a smoke plume. Both fires and associated areas of smoke can be seen on the visible satellite image. As long as both fires are burning, portions of the Sierra and western Nevada will be impacted by smoke.
The image above shows a model projection of smoke through this evening, with the thickest smoke in the deep blue and green shading and lesser amounts in the light blue. A similar southwest flow will continue throughout the work week, continuing to bring reduced visibility and air quality impacts. For the latest on the current air quality and forecast air quality please check with Air Now or your local county.
The reason the smoke plume shifted yesterday, affecting southern Lyon County, northern Mono/Mineral Counties, and Churchill County, while clearing out Reno/Tahoe is that the flow turned to the west, keeping the smoke plume further south. At this time, winds are not forecast to shift to the west again until next weekend.