July 24, 2021, 9 a.m. PST Update: The previous version of this release indicated a Stage 1 Alert was issued. That alert has been terminated and upgraded to a Stage 2 Warning. 

Reno/Sparks, Nev. July 24, 2021 – The Washoe County Health District – Air Quality Management Division (AQMD) has issued a Stage 2 Air Pollution Warning due to smoke from area wildfires. The Stage 1 alert issued on Friday, July 23, has been terminated. Air quality in the Reno-Sparks area could reach the “Very Unhealthy” and “Hazardous” ranges at times Saturday and Sunday.

The Stage 2 warning means that all residents should stay indoors and reduce activity levels due to the susceptibility of increased health risks. The Reno-Sparks area will be impacted by this warning with significant smoke expected in the North Valleys and Spanish Springs.

This is just the second time AQMD has issued a Stage 2 warning (last time Sept. 13, 2020). The main wildfires contributing to the poor air quality continue to be the Dixie, Fly and Tamarack fires.

To see current air quality in Reno-Sparks, click here; for information on what the air quality index colors mean, click here.

Periods of heavy smoke and clearing may rapidly fluctuate during the weekend depending on wind patterns. AQMD has issued these recommendations to reduce exposure to smoke:

  • Avoid or reduce outdoor and physical activities
  • Stay indoors with the windows and doors closed; if possible, run the air conditioner on recirculation function
  • Avoid using a swamp cooler or whole-house fan to prevent bringing additional smoke inside
  • Consult your physician for health questions, especially those with heart and lung issues

AQMD can issue a Stage 1 (Alert), Stage 2 (Warning) or Stage 3 (Emergency) notifications with the Stage 3 alert meaning the conditions are the most severe. More information on the stages can be found here.

Visit OurCleanAir.com for additional information on the Air Quality Management Division.

The Washoe County Health District is nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board and has jurisdiction over all public health matters in Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County through the policy-making Washoe County District Board of Health. The District consists of five divisions: Administrative Health Services, Air Quality Management, Community and Clinical Health Services, Environmental Health Services and Epidemiology & Public Health Preparedness. More info can be found here.