Stage 3 Air Quality Emergency Episode Issued

Sep 14, 2022

Reno/Sparks, Nev. Sept. 14, 2022 – The Washoe County Health District – Air Quality Management Division (AQMD) has issued a Stage 3 Emergency Episode due to smoke from the Mosquito Fire burning west of Lake Tahoe. The NowCast air quality index (AQI) for the Reno-Sparks area was over 350 and in the “Hazardous” category on Wednesday morning, which was much worse than expected due to increased fire activity.

The Health District supports decisions by local organizations, including the University of Nevada, Reno and the Washoe County School District, to cancel classes and events.

The Stage 3 Emergency Episode was issued because the PM2.5 AQI is expected to be over 200 for a 24-period of time. This is the second time AQMD has issued a Stage 3 Emergency Episode; the first being in August 2021 due to the Caldor Fire.

Residents are encouraged to follow air quality updates in Reno-Sparks, click here. See what the colors and ranges mean here.

Measures residents can do include:

  • Stay indoors and reduce activity
  • Make sure windows and doors closed in your home.
  • Consult your physician for health questions, especially those with heart and lung issues.
  • Create a clean air room

Sign up for Washoe County Air Quality updates here.

AQMD can issue a Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3, and Stage 4 Emergency Episode with the Stage 4 being the most severe. More information on the stages can be found here.

Visit 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.