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Wildfire Smoke Sinks Into Tahoe, Unhealthy Air Quality Warning Issued

TAHOE CITY (CBS13) — As the smoke clears out from the Sacramento Valley, it's sinking into the Tahoe Basin. The vista views over Tahoe are now blanketed in a hazy layer of wildfire smoke.

"It hurts, hurts your lungs," said Gary Winthorpe, who was visiting from the Bay Area.

Those headed for an outdoor escape this weekend will instead find hazy skies and unhealthy air quality.

"There's a bunch of people flocking up here thinking it's going to be better but it's really not," said Samantha Rains.

The air quality is unhealthy, which means it could cause health problems for everyone, not just those with pre-existing conditions.

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"That seems to be through the foothills all the way up to the Tahoe Area," said Ann Hobbs with Placer County Air Pollution Control.

While people in Tahoe struggle to breathe this, people in Vacaville soaked in their first dose of better air in days. The moderate air quality is much less noticeable.

READ MORE: Clearer Skies Bring Breath Of Fresh Air In Solano County Following Weeks Of Smoke

"Hoping that that movement of clean air is going to keep moving up the foothills and into the Tahoe basin," Hobbs said.

Ann Hobbs with Placer County Air Pollution Control says the smoke in Tahoe comes from wildfires down south, including the Creek Fire and SCU complex.

Meteorologists expect the smoke to start to clear Thursday evening but the best chance for better air quality will be Friday. Until then, the advice is to stay inside.

"It's hard to do a lot of physical activity out here, boating or paddleboarding biking or anything," Rains said.

Tahoe is dealing with almost twice the amount of pollutants in the air as places like Sacramento and Vacaville. The air quality expert we talked to says it is not healthy to be breathing in the smoke they have been getting in Tahoe.
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