Mosquito Fire: Smoke begins creating unhealthy to hazardous conditions in Northern California
The smoke’s impact was most visually clear in a time-lapse video posted by the NWS in Reno, Nevada. The video was taken from inside the NWS Reno office and shows the smoke from the Mosquito Fire in California flowing into the area over about one to two hours on Sunday, said meteorologist Heather Richards.
The smoke, which has created unhealthy to hazardous air quality, is expected to linger in the Tahoe Basin and Reno area through Monday, the weather service said.
As numerous fires ravaged Western states, air quality alerts were in place across much of Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
Skies turned orange and hazy in parts of Oregon over the weekend as winds carried smoke from the multiple fires burning in the state.
“Rising global temperatures and more frequent extreme heat events are expected to increase wildfire size and intensity, signaling a growing public health threat from concurrent heat-smoke exposure,” researchers wrote.
Where the fires are burning
Driven by strong easterly winds, triple-digit temperatures and dry fuels, flames breached containment lines that firefighters have for weeks worked to build.
Evacuations were ordered in Lane and Deschutes counties as the fire advanced, making wind-driven runs and threatening 2,230 homes and 443 commercial structures.
On Sunday, fire officials said extreme weather from the past two days was easing, temperatures have started to cool and shifting winds have calmed.
However, the blaze was still expected to advance through heavy fuels, officials said.
On Saturday, a pilot and two fire personnel were injured when a helicopter assigned to the Fairview Fire crashed in a residential backyard while attempting to land at a local airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
The California and Nevada National Guard has sent two C-130 aircraft “equipped with modular airborne fire fighting systems,” to Idaho to combat the ongoing wildfires in the state, a release from the National Guard said Monday. The modular airborne fire fighting systems on the planes can “drop up to 3,000 gallons of fire retardant in less than 10 seconds across a quarter-mile line,” the National Guard said.
The aircraft and crews arrived at Boise Airport on Friday and were requested by the National Interagency Fire Center.
There was marginal risk for excessive rainfall through the overnight hours for parts of Southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico.
Monday, the moisture in Southern California is forecast to spread to the north, bringing rain to northwest Arizona before heading into Nevada by Tuesday. A flood watch is already in effect for eastern Nevada from Tuesday through Wednesday night, CNN Meteorologist Robert Shackelford said.
Meanwhile, isolated dry storms are possible for northern Nevada Monday, which could spark new fires in that area, according to Shackelford. Also, eastern Montana is expected to see elevated fire weather risk due to 15 mph winds and very dry air.
CNN’s Tina Burnside, Michelle Watson and Eric Levenson contributed to this report.