Oak Fire Sends Plume of Smoke into Yosemite, Lake Tahoe
The Oak Fire has grown to the largest wildfire in the United States, threatening thousands of structures and forcing more than 6,000 people to evacuate from their homes. As the fire grew to more than 16,000 acres, a pyrocumulus cloud ballooned over the fire to 25,000 feet into the air.
Now, that smoke has moved north into Yosemite National Park and Lake Tahoe, creating poor air quality and a health emergency for anyone in the area.
As of Monday morning, the air quality in two of California’s most popular outdoor destinations is unhealthy. According to the Air Quality Index, Yosemite sits at a 172 AQI and Lake Tahoe is 121. Both numbers indicate “unhealthy” air quality.
“Conditions are very smoky throughout the park, with air quality worsening rapidly,” wrote Yosemite NP officials on social media “Smoke may pose risk for older adults, children, and persons with pre-existing medical conditions.”
If those numbers aren’t enough to convince you, recent photos show the areas completely drowning in wildfire smoke:
For anyone hoping to travel to these areas in the near future, plan accordingly.