Smoke from Rim Fire blankets Reno-Tahoe region

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Smoke from Rim Fire blankets Reno-Tahoe region

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Reno, Carson City, Tahoe, and Minden are blanketed with heavy smoke right now from the Rim Fire burning more than 150 miles away from near Yosemite National Park.

5PM Update:

Reno, Carson City, Tahoe, and Minden are blanketed with heavy smoke from the Rim Fire burning more than 150 miles away from near Yosemite National Park.

Washoe County air quality officials say the air quality index has jumped from 50 earlier today, which is in the good range, to 130 this afternoon which is unhealthy for sensitive groups like children and the elderly. If the index surpasses 150, the general population likely would experience some health effects.

Douglas County has also issued a statement saying that air samples for the Carson Valley are likely to move into the unsafe category in the next few hours.

Sensitive people should avoid prolonged exertion and stay indoors with windows closed and the air conditioning on.

The Rim Fire has more than tripled in size from about 16,000 acres last night to more than 58,000 acres today. That's 84 square miles. And the blaze is only 2 percent contained.

About 2,500 structures are threatened and both the growth potential for the fire and the difficulty of the terrain are listed as "extreme" by officials.

For more than a week, the Reno/Sparks area has endured smoke and haze from the American Fire which has burned nearly 17,000 acres in the Tahoe National Forest and is now 60 percent contained.