Air quality expected to reach “unhealthy” to “very unhealthy” levels in Carson City & Douglas Co.

The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) has issued an air quality alert for Carson City and Douglas County based on current and forecasted air pollution levels. This alert means that sensitive groups (including elderly, children, and people with heart or lung disease) are susceptible to increased health risks.

The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) is predicting that air quality may reach unhealthy or very unhealthy levels in Carson City and Douglas County by Friday, September 11, 2020.    

Several wildfires throughout California are contributing to heavy smoke impacts in the Carson City and Minden-Gardnerville areas based on very fine particulate matter (PM2.5) levels at the NDEP monitoring stations. Air quality in the Carson City and Minden-Gardnerville areas is currently in the “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” to “Unhealthy” range. Areas throughout Carson and Eagle Valleys can expect similar smoke impacts and poor air quality conditions overnight into Friday.

NDEP advises the public to monitor the air quality index (AQI) at The AQI focuses on health effects individuals may experience within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air. You can also visit to monitor status updates on air quality.

As respiratory health is on everyone’s mind during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial that residents take steps to avoid exposure to unhealthy air. Local health experts recommend the following safety precautions (source):

- Stay inside
- Refrain from exercising outdoors
- Keep hydrated to suppress a cough and help prevent smoky air from settling in lungs
- Limit use of vacuums and gas stoves
- Keep windows and doors closed, and use air conditioning if possible to help filter air throughout the house, and
- When driving your car in smoky areas, keep your windows and vents closed, make sure it’s set to re-circulate so you’re not bringing in outside air

NDEP and local officials will continue to closely monitor smoke impacts and air quality in Northern Nevada. You can also follow the AirNow.Gov Twitter feed for more information (@AirNow). General information is also available on the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Twitter feed (@NevDCNR).