Reno/Sparks, Nev. August 5, 2021 – The Washoe County Health District – Air Quality Management Division (AQMD) has issued a Stage 2 Emergency Episode due to anticipated smoke from area wildfires. The air quality index (AQI) for the Reno-Sparks area is expected reach “Unhealthy” to “Very Unhealthy” at times Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The Stage 2 Emergency Episode means that all residents should stay indoors and reduce activity levels due to the susceptibility of increased health risks. This is the third time AQMD has issued a Stage 2 (last time July 24, 2021). The Dixie Fire continues to be the main wildfire contributing to the poor air quality.

To see current air quality in Reno-Sparks, click here; for information on what the air quality index colors mean, click here.

Periods of heavy smoke and clearing may rapidly fluctuate during the weekend depending on wind patterns. AQMD has issued these recommendations to reduce exposure to smoke:

  • Avoid or reduce outdoor and physical activities
  • Stay indoors with the windows and doors closed; if possible, run the air conditioner on recirculation function
  • Avoid using a swamp cooler or whole-house fan to prevent bringing additional smoke inside
  • Consult your physician for health questions, especially those with heart and lung issues

AQMD can issue a Stage 1, Stage 2, or Stage 3 notifications with the Stage 3 Emergency Episode being the most severe. More information on the stages can be found here.

Visit for additional information on the Air Quality Management Division.

The Washoe County Health District is nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board and has jurisdiction over all public health matters in Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County through the policy-making Washoe County District Board of Health. The District consists of five divisions: Administrative Health Services, Air Quality Management, Community and Clinical Health Services, Environmental Health Services and Epidemiology & Public Health Preparedness. More info can be found here.