Smoke from two massive wildfires was visible from Las Vegas on Tuesday. Firefighters are battling the pair of blazes, which are currently burning in mountainous terrain.
The smoke caused the Clark County Department of air Quality to issue a health advisory for the city, which will remain in effect until Sunday.
Both fires were sparked by lightning. While the Carpenter 1 fire, 25 miles northwest of the city, was started on July 1, the Pine Nut mountain range fire broke out on July 4.
Carpenter 1 spread out to 19,757 acres on Tuesday. It has spread quickly into a rugged terrain that has limited accessibility. While the blaze has evacuated 500 people so far, officials have been forced to close two state highways into the canyons.
Almost 900 firefighters are battling the wildfire, which is only 15 percent contained. However, fire spokeswoman Madonna Lengerich stated that officials are optimistic the blaze will head into more manageable terrain.
While the air quality warning was issued, winds coming from the south and southwest so far have worked to keep the smoke out of Law Vegas. Russell Roberts of the Clark County Department of Air Quality, added:
“We’re keeping our fingers crossed, we hope the winds don’t change. The worst that could happen is that the winds come out of the north and smoke the whole valley out.”
Thankfully, that hasn’t happened yet. And the only people who seem to be affected by the wildfires’ smoke are children. Dr. Craig Nakamura, a pediatric pulmonologist, stated, “Our phones are lighting up a little more from families whose children are particularly sensitive to fine particles in the air.”
For the second fire, officials have had to close roads over the mountains. They have also asked the public to stay away from the area while more than 700 firefighters battle the blaze. Fire spokeswoman Elayne Briggs explained that crews made progress on Monday by forming hard lines around the fire.
Meanwhile, Las Vegas residents and tourists continue to hope that the winds keep the wildfires’ smoke away from the city.
[Image via Twitter]