Lake Tahoe Air Quality Index at “Unhealthy” Right Now Due To Wildfire Smoke

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video showing some of the destruction due to the Donnell Fire –

the fire that is currently filling Lake Tahoe with smoke.


The air quality in Lake Tahoe, CA/NV has been bad this summer and it’s terrible right now.

An Air Quality Alert and Special Weather Statement have been issued for Lake Tahoe due to the unhealthy amounts of smoke pollution in the air.

Smoke from the Donnell fire choking Lake Tahoe yesterday. image: nasa, yesterday
Map showing Donnell Fire and Lake Tahoe. image: iniciweb, today

The current air quality index in the Lake Tahoe basin is at “Unhealthy”.

The culprit destroying the air quality in Tahoe right now is the 21,100 Donnell Fire that is currently only 6% contained.

Horrible air quality is being felt all over northern California right now.

“I thought I awoke from a nuclear disaster…It was horrible.” – Sacramento Mayor Darrel Steinberg said on Monday morning

Air Quality Index in CA yesterday.  Red = Unhealthy.  image: BAAQMD, yesterday.

Winds have been blowing smoke from the Donnell Fire into the Lake Tahoe basin for the past week.  Other fires such as the Ferguson Fire have been blowing smoke into the Lake Tahoe basin this summer.

It’s been a rough smoke season in Lake Tahoe.

Air Quality Alert

Air Quality Alert Message
National Weather Service Reno NV
854 AM PDT Thu Aug 9 2018

Greater Lake Tahoe Area-Greater Reno-Carson City-Minden Area-
854 AM PDT Thu Aug 9 2018


Smoke from the Donnell Fire is settling into Alpine County, the
Carson Valley and Carson City each night. This is resulting in
degraded air quality with Air Quality Index readings in the
Unhealthy to Hazardous by the early morning hours.

Air quality should increase each afternoon as afternoon breezes
develop and mix the smoke higher into the air. But, depending on
how active the fire is each afternoon, increased winds could
produce more smoke that will start the cycle of deteriorating
overnight air quality again.

An Air Quality Index in the Very Unhealthy or Hazardous range
means the entire population is more likely to be affected. For
more information on air quality refer to,, or
image: iniciweb, today

Special Weather Statement

Special Weather Statement
National Weather Service RENO NV
135 PM PDT Thu Aug 9 2018

Surprise Valley California-Lassen-Eastern Plumas-
Eastern Sierra Counties-Greater Lake Tahoe Area-Mono County-
Mineral and Southern Lyon Counties-Greater Reno-Carson City-
Minden Area-Western Nevada Basin and Range including Pyramid Lake-
Northern Washoe County-
Including the cities of Cedarville, Eagleville, Fort Bidwell,
Portola, Susanville, Westwood, Sierraville, Loyalton,
South Lake Tahoe, Tahoe City, Truckee, Markleeville, Bridgeport,
Coleville, Lee Vining, Mammoth Lakes, Hawthorne, Yerington,
Smith Valley, Mina, Schurz, Stateline, Glenbrook,
Incline Village, Sparks, Verdi, Gardnerville, Virginia City,
Fernley, Fallon, Lovelock, Silver Springs, Nixon, Imlay, Empire,
and Gerlach
135 PM PDT Thu Aug 9 2018

...Widespread degraded air quality continues...

A number of fires across northern and eastern California continue
to bring hazy conditions and degraded air quality to northeast
California, the Sierra, and western Nevada.

* Areas at greatest risk for unhealthy to very unhealthy air
  quality are from Carson City and Douglas County south through
  Alpine and Mono Counties downwind of the Donnell Fire. Poor air
  quality may also reach out into southern Lyon County and western
  Mineral County although confidence is lower.

Follow guidance from local air quality management districts. Air
quality data and forecasts can be found at, with health
advisories for Mono and Alpine Counties at, and
additional monitoring data at


image: inciweb, today
image: iniciweb, today

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One thought on “Lake Tahoe Air Quality Index at “Unhealthy” Right Now Due To Wildfire Smoke

  1. I was at Donnell vista the day this fire
    Started, 99% sure human caused .
    How stupid are we as humans to not realize what we do can have such a negative impact on the weather and climate ? Not sure if I have percentages right but over 95% of all wildfires are human caused ? ? ? Common sense would tell you don’t start a campfire in red flag conditions or any time . Look at the destruction this fire has caused because someone wanted a campfire !
    6% contained and causing unhealthy air quality in Lake Tahoe .

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