Fires

Wildfires causing poor air quality in 3 Northern California counties, greater Reno area

See smoke build from Walker Fire

The Walker Fire burning in the Plumas National Forest near Quincy in Northern California, started on Sept. 4, 2019.
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The Walker Fire burning in the Plumas National Forest near Quincy in Northern California, started on Sept. 4, 2019.

Smoke blowing east from the 44,000-acre Walker Fire in Plumas County has created moderate air quality and visibility concerns along a small slice of northeast California, as well as Washoe County in Nevada.

The National Weather Service’s Reno office issued a dense smoke advisory Sunday afternoon, in place through at least 11 a.m. Monday, warning that both visibility and air quality could be “severely degraded” throughout Lassen County, in the eastern parts of Plumas and Sierra counties, and in a stretch of Washoe County north of Reno.

The advisory says visibility could be between one to three miles throughout the impacted areas, but a stretch of Highway 395 near Hallelujah Junction could see visibility below half a mile.

An air quality index (AQI) forecast map by the Environmental Protection Agency shows an orange patch along the California-Nevada border, indicating conditions considered unhealthy for sensitive groups of people throughout Monday.

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An air quality index forecast map for Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, shows smoke impact from the Walker Fire burning in Plumas County. Environmental Protection Agency

The entirety of the greater Sacramento area – from Elk Grove north to Auburn and Colfax – has AQI readings denoted as “moderate,” in the forecast for Monday and Tuesday, expected to return to “good” air conditions by Wednesday, according to www.sparetheair.com.

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Michael McGough anchors The Sacramento Bee’s breaking news reporting team, covering public safety and other local stories. A Sacramento native and lifelong capital resident, he interned at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he earned a degree in journalism.
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