Las Vegas Sends Smoke Advisory as California Wildfires Burn 2.3 Million Acres

An air quality advisory was issued in Las Vegas this week due to smoke from numerous wildfires across California.

In a press release, the Clark County Department of Environment and Sustainability (DES), said that the county, where Las Vegas is located, was extending its smoke advisory through Monday. The Clark County DES first issued the advisory on Saturday.

"Smoke from South Central California wildfires continues to drift into the region, leading to elevated levels of particulate matter in the air," the press release said. "DES Division of Air Quality officials say smoke is made of small particles and other pollutants that can aggravate respiratory diseases such as bronchitis and asthma or heart disease."

In a tweet on Monday, the Clark County DES said "We're expecting MODERATE levels of ozone and PM2.5 as a result of the wildfire smoke."

The advisory urges Las Vegas residents to reduce "outdoor exertion on days with high levels of fine particles in the air," as well as keeping windows and doors closed.

The smoke advisory comes as numerous wildfires across California have burned over two million acres, as of Monday.

"Today, more than 10,000 personnel remain assigned to 11 active large wildfires. To date, more than 2.3 million acres have burned statewide," the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), wrote in a tweet on Monday.

According to data from the National Interagency Fire Center, there are currently 10 active wildfires burning across California. The largest active wildfire in the state is the Dixie Fire, which has burned 963,195 acres and is currently 90 percent contained.

In a Dixie Fire update posted on the national wildfire incident system, InciWeb, officials said that "Firefighters took advantage of the recent moisture to increase containment to 90 percent."

"Today's northeast winds will quickly dry the air following the recent rainfall," the update continued. "The warmer temperatures and drying vegetation will make smoke more visible. Smoke will be seen in fire areas along highways and roadways. Stopping along the roadway is prohibited due to hazards."

Cal Fire officials have said that the Dixie Fire has damaged at least 95 residential and commercial structures, while 1,329 structures have been destroyed.

The Dixie Fire has remained the second-largest wildfire in California history, as the only larger wildfire was the 2020 August Complex Fire, which burned over one million acres.

In addition to the Dixie Fire, California is also battling the Caldor Fire and the Monument Fire, which have both burned over 200,000 acres.

In a statement sent to Newsweek, Kevin MacDonald, a public information officer for the Clark County DES, said, "We've been dealing with wildfire smoke from California all summer long. It was especially bad in August. It's becoming the new normal for Vegas summertime air quality."

"Including this year, wildfire smoke has influenced our air quality in three of the past four years," MacDonald continued. "We're used to increased ozone formation during the summer months. Sadly, we're now used to wildfire smoke blowing into the region and there isn't much we can do to stop it."

Wildfire
An air quality advisory was issued in Las Vegas in response to smoke from California wildfires. Above, the Dixie Fire pushes through the Genesee Valley on August 21, 2021 in Genesee, California. Allison Dinner/Getty