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Health officials warn of poor air quality over the weekend


Air quality in Reno and Sparks will likely get worse over the weekend according to officials at the Washoe County Health District. A stage 2 emergency episode has been declared due to “unhealthy” to “very unhealthy” air quality in the region. 

Health officials said more smoke from the Mosquito Fire west Reno is expected to move into the region Saturday evening and into Sunday. The air quality index may range from 100 to 150 or higher.

“Periods of smoke and clearing may rapidly fluctuate during the weekend depending on wind patterns,” officials said. 

An advisory was issued Thursday about unhealthy air quality levels. That advisory was updated because of increasing fine particulate matter in the air. 

Emergency episodes can be staged at levels 1-4. Last year Washoe County saw an air quality index of up to 336, or “hazardous,” and a stage 3 emergency episode was declared. Schools were canceled for several days. 

Health officials shared these tips for staying healthy during periods of poor air quality:

  • Check the AQI on both AirNow and AirNow’s Fire and Smoke Map for the AQI nearest you
  • Avoid or reduce outdoor and physical activities when it is smoky
  • Stay indoors with the windows and doors closed
  • Keep air clean. Do not vacuum, light candles, fry food, or smoke
  • Consult your physician for health questions, especially those with heart and lung issues

Source: WCHD

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