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Smoke from Apple Fire prompts 2-day air-quality advisory for Clark County

Updated August 3, 2020 - 12:46 pm

Las Vegas will experience hazy skies Monday, thanks to a wildfire burning in Southern California.

The 20,000-acre Apple Fire erupted over the weekend in the San Bernardino Mountains, sending smoke toward the Las Vegas Valley.

Smoke was expected to affect areas of Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and Idaho. The fire was 5 percent contained as of Monday morning, the U.S. Forest Service said.

Anybody with respiratory issues should plan to stay inside, according to a tweet from the National Weather Service.

Air advisory issued

The Clark County Department of Environment and Sustainability issued an advisory for Monday and Tuesday for elevated levels of smoke and ozone due to the Apple Fire east of Los Angeles and other regional wildfires.

Clark County air-quality officials say smoke is made of small dust particles and other pollutants that can aggravate respiratory diseases and contribute to ground-level ozone formation.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, people who may be most sensitive to elevated levels of particulates and ozone include those with respiratory problems, cardiac disease, young children or senior citizens. Consult your physician if you have a medical condition that makes you sensitive to air-quality conditions.

Exposure to ozone can induce coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath even in healthy people. A seasonal ozone advisory is currently in effect.

Smoke and ozone tips

— Stay indoors when you smell or see smoke.

— Limit outdoor activity and exertion when ozone levels are elevated — exercise makes you breathe heavier and increases the amount of particulates you may inhale.

— Keep windows and doors closed. Run your air conditioner inside your house and car. Air conditioning filters out smoke and particles.

— Change your indoor air filters if they are dirty.

— Schedule activities for the morning or evening when ozone levels are usually lower.

— Substitute a less intense activity — walk instead of jog, for example.

“As long the fire remains fairly active, the wind trajectory means we will have to deal with the haze through tonight at least, if not longer,” weather service meteorologist Barry Pierce said.

Hazy skies will develop widely after 10 a.m. and will come with a Monday forecast high of 109. Winds will be 5 to 7 mph.

Tuesday’s conditions will be similar with a projected high of 109 before a slight cooling trend.

“We’ll be back to close to normal temperatures of 105 to 106 by Thursday or Friday,” Pierce said, adding that there is no precipitation in the week’s forecast.

Contact Marvin Clemons at mclemons@reviewjournal.com. Follow @Marv_in_Vegas on Twitter.

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