The Washoe County Health District’s Air Quality Management Division (AQMD) has issued a Stage 3 Emergency Episode due to smoke from area wildfires. The determination was made after the air quality index (AQI) remained over 200 for a 24-hour period.
The Caldor Fire, which ignited Aug. 14 and has burned more than 100,000 acres, is the main wildfire contributing to the poor air quality. Cal Fire said Monday morning that the fire is 5% contained.
The AQI for the Reno-Sparks area is expected to be “Very Unhealthy” to “Hazardous” at times through Wednesday depending on wind patterns. An AQI this high means all residents should stay indoors as much as possible.
This is the first time the AQMD has issued a Stage 3 Emergency Episode.
The AQMD has issued these recommendations to reduce exposure to smoke:
- Everyone should stay indoors and avoid any outdoor activity.
- Stay indoors with the windows and doors closed.
- Consult your physician for health questions, especially those with heart and lung issues.
- Create a clean air room.
The AQMD can issue a Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3 and Stage 4 Emergency Episode, with the Stage 4 being the most severe. More information on the stages can be found here. The Emergency Episode rule was recently revised and adopted by the District Board of Health on July 22, 2021.
For Washoe County Air Quality Updates to your inbox, sign up here. Visit OurCleanAir.com for additional information on the Air Quality Management Division.
Jeri Chadwell came to Reno from rural Nevada in 2004 to study anthropology at the University of Nevada, Reno. In 2012, she returned to the university for a master’s degree in journalism. She is the former associate and news editor of the Reno News & Review and is a recipient of first-place Nevada Press Association awards for investigative and business reporting. Jeri is passionate about Nevada’s history, politics and communities.