Northern California is experiencing dangerous conditions as a wall of smoke from the Mosquito Fire in the Sierra Nevada foothills is choking the air and making firefighting more difficult.
Time-lapse footage taken by the NWS in Reno, Nevada, showed the effects of the smoke the best. Meteorologist Heather Richards said the footage, shot from inside the NWS Reno office on Sunday, shows smoke from the Mosquito Fire in California moving into the area over the course of around one to two hours.
The weather service has predicted that the smoke, which has caused harmful to hazardous air quality, would remain in the Tahoe Basin and the Reno area through Monday.
Pam Malone of Folsom, a city within the fire’s boundaries, told CNN affiliate KCRA-TV, “It smells incredibly smokey. It looks really cloudy. There’s not an ounce of blue in the sky.” Because of the poor air quality, Malone informed the station that she was reducing her time spent outdoors.
The fast-growing blaze began on September 6 and is now the state’s largest fire, with only 10% containment. As of Monday, it has spread across 46,580 acres in El Dorado and Placer counties, according to Cal Fire.
The National Interagency Fire Center reports that there are currently 92 big wildland fires across the United States, with the majority of these flames located in the Pacific Northwest.
Western states that have been hit hard by drought have become breeding grounds for thirsty, dry vegetation that can spark more dangerous wildfires that burn faster and for longer as temperatures rise.
Air quality alerts were issued for large portions of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho as many fires raged across the West.
Over the weekend, winds transported smoke from the numerous fires burning across Oregon, turning the skies an orange haze in some areas.
NWS in Spokane reported cooler-than-expected temperatures in Washington due to the state’s thick smog.