Wildfire smoke blankets Truckee
Staff reportsWith a shift in the wind, smoke from wildfires in El Dorado and Amador counties covered Truckee Friday afternoon.Truckee is on the northern fringe of the smoke plume, said Brian Brong, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Reno. “We’ll probably see the smoke linger around tonight (Friday) and Saturday,” Brong said. “Then stronger winds (Saturday evening) will help to clear out the air.”According to Joe Fish of the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District in Grass Valley, a health advisory for sensitive groups was issued Thursday in Western Nevada County due to the smoke. Some area residents with respiratory illnesses or vulnerability could be harmed by the air quality, the district said.At about 4:45 p.m. Friday, Fish said an air monitoring device located in downtown Truckee recorded an “elevated” air quality reading. Fish advised people to use “common sense” when outdoors. The advisory warned that “If you smell and see smoke within your breathing zone it is reasonable to assume that you are breathing unhealthful levels of particulate matter.”Two fires south of Truckee are causing the smoke. The 5,000-acre Fred’s Fire, which broke out Wednesday night in El Dorado County near Kyburz along Highway 50 between Lake Tahoe and Placerville and the Power Fire in Amador County grew, which has burned more than 5,500 acres.Brong said fire crews could get help from rain, which is forecast for the northern Sierra Sunday night. He said areas above 7,000 feet could get snow.
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As of Thursday morning, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nevada County had reached 3,988. There are 63 new cases since last Thursday, Feb. 25, indicating a 2% increase.