American Fire in Placer County Raising Concerns over Air Quality

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PLACER COUNTY–

The American Fire in the Tahoe National Forest has now burned 2,000 acres, according to air tac management with the US Forest Service.

Air quality and visibility has become a challenge for surrounding communities and firefighters.

Smoke from the fire could be seen more than 50 miles away. The US Forest Service is warning the public to take safety precautions due to air quality.

“It is getting very smokey. There are only a few areas where we can work with aircraft,” said Jim Gonzalez, air tac manager, US Forest Service.

As pilots try to decide where and how they can drop fire retardant, they are faced with the challenge of putting crews on the ground.

“We have to get hot shots down into the canyon. Until we can get them in there we can not close the back door or the front door,” said Todd White, air tac manager, US Forest Service.

The US Forest Service is currently waiting for Hot Shots to arrive. Their job is to remove fuels the fire lives on.

Meanwhile, air tankers and helicopters are doing what they can to prevent future burning.

“We have just been dropping water on some of the points where we do not want it to extend any further to the west,” said Jim Gonzalez.

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