California wildfires cause hazy Labor Day in the Las Vegas valley

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Monday was a very hazy Labor Day for residents in the Las Vegas valley. The sky looked anything but sunny and clear as a September haze filled the skies because of several wildfires in California, including the Creek Fire in Bishop, California.

8 News NOW Weather Authority Sally Jaramillo says high pressure to the left of Nevada is what is causing the smoke from the wildfires to move into our area and create the haze.

8 News NOW viewers Sylvie Felgar sent the following photo to show how the sun looked more like a full moon trying to peak through the haze. According to Felgar, a photo normally taking from this angle would include mountains, so this is just another example of how thick the haze is.

Photo courtesy 8 News NOW viewer Sylvie Felgar.

The smoke impacts air quality, and the Clark County Department of Environment and Sustainability issued an advisory Monday, on Labor Day, because of the smoke, so it can be unhealthy for sensitive groups.

“There’s a few different things that we’re concerned about,” said Dr. Christina Madison, Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Roseman University of Health Sciences.

Although several of the fires burning are in California, Dr. Madison says the drifting smoke can have huge health impacts on Las Vegans — especially the elderly and people with restrictive airway diseases.

“Not only is it more difficult to just breathe normally, it could also trigger things like asthma attacks and things that would potentially cause them to be hospitalized,” Dr. Madison said.

Dr. Madison adds that with the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing — and flu season fast approaching, those at higher risk should stay inside as much as possible.

“Both of those things combined, as well as the bad air quality, just really don’t make for a good mix,” Dr. Madison said.

But National Weather Service Meteorologist Trevor Boucher says luckily, the smoke is not too close to the ground , and will leave soon.

“It’s more something just ominous to see at the moment,” Boucher said. “This should be rather brief. We’re going to see this today. It’s really obscuring the sun, but we’re going to be seeing a cold front move through, and that should blow a lot of this smoke South of us and out of the area.”

Still, with so many fires, things could change again in a few days.

“We may see smoke again before it’s all over with,” Boucher said.

Dr. Madison says certain home systems can help.

“HEPA filters are also a good thing to think about, especially when we are dealing with such poor air quality and it’s so close to home,” Dr. Madison said.

There was still some smoke and haze in Southern Nevada as of Monday night, and it is expected to continue overnight. But experts say things will improve on Tuesday and Wednesday.

According to 8 News Now Meteorologist Sally Jaramillo, there will be a high wind warning in effect for the area Tuesday from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m. Again, as the National Weather Services told 8 News NOW, that is expected to improve the air quality and move some of the haze out. With that said, various ongoing fires in Utah might start spreading smoke our way afterward.

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