Smoke from California wildfires arrives in Nye, Esmeralda counties

Despite the visible smoke in the valley from wildfires still raging throughout parts of central and northern California, the air quality in Nye County and surrounding areas appears to be improving this week, when compared to late July.

“The air quality seems to be getting a little better in Nye County,” said National Weather Service Meteorologist Alex Boothe. “Last month, there were a couple of days that were more intense regarding the haze and smoke coming down into the valley from the California fires. The visibility has indeed increased and the haze is not as intense as it has been.”

At the same time, Booth also cautioned residents living in areas north and west of Pahrump to be prepared for higher levels of smoke and particulates in the skies, later this week and on into next week.

“It has been more isolated to Esmeralda and Inyo counties, as well as portions of far western Nye County,” Boothe said. “Beatty has also seen some increased smoke and thin haze. The winds have not been as favorable as they were, bringing the smoke further south. Further up north where the fires are, is where you are likely to see air quality alerts. Right now, the air quality is more or less acceptable in southern Nye County.”

As a result, Boothe noted that an air quality alert for the Pahrump Valley is not expected to be issued, as of yet.

“It would have to be very unhealthy air conditions, for us to be issuing anything like that,” he said. “Although it is still bringing down the air quality to more of a moderate category where it’s not good, it has been worse during the past week or so. “There are those pollutants from lingering smoke that may be of a health concern to a small number of people who are more sensitive to air pollution. Once it gets to an unhealthy category, that’s when we consider issuing an air quality advisory, but right now, we are not really in that area yet.”

Additionally, hazy conditions and oppressive heat are expected in the Las Vegas Valley through midweek, the National Weather Service said, as an excessive heat warning will remain in effect for parts of Southern Nevada this week.

The high temperature in Pahrump today is expected to reach 107 degrees, while a high temperature of 105 and 104 degrees is forecast for Thursday and Friday respectively.

Though Tonopah is not expected to see triple digits this week, the air quality does not appear to be as favorable as Pahrump’s.

Daytime highs are expected to hit the upper 90s, along with smoke and hazy conditions due to the wildfires this week.

Go to AirNow.gov for updated info on air quality levels in the area.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes