Woman paddleboarding on a Lake Tahoe on a clear day with good visibility no wildfire smoke

Air Quality in Lake Tahoe:

Wildfire smoke affecting the Lake Tahoe Basin 

In light of the recent and current wildfires, visitors to the Lake Tahoe Basin are interested to know how the smoke is affecting Lake Tahoe. As you are likely aware, the largest fire in California history, the Dixie Fire, is currently burning just over 100 miles north of Lake Tahoe. And just today, the Caldor fire broke out near Pollock Pines. Sadly, the smoke from both the Dixie and Caldor fires are having an impact on air quality in Lake Tahoe.

Since Tahoe is such a popular summer destination for its (usually) great weather and outdoor activities, we understand the concern about visiting when the smoke has a big impact on lake visibility and health conditions. We have received some inquiries lately on the smoke levels in Lake Tahoe and want you to be prepared should you decide to visit during this time. Below you will find resources to check on smoke levels or air quality. Use these resources to make plans for your trip. 

Be aware that the air quality, or smoke levels, change throughout the day. The AQI may be moderate in the morning and reach unhealthy levels in the afternoon. Or vice versa. Conditions are dependent on weather patterns.   Be prepared for unhealthy conditions, and have alternative ideas should your plans primarily include outdoor activities.



To check current air quality, simply head to airnow.gov for the most up-to-date reading of AQI (air quality index). You will need to plug in the zip code or city for which you want a status update. To check the air quality at Tahoe Beach Club, you can plug in Stateline, NV or 89449. 

The Tahoe Environmental Research Center also provides air quality conditions via PurpleAir: https://tahoe.ucdavis.edu/tahoe-atmospheric-conditions 


You can take a look at visibility on the lake and in other areas via these live webcams:

Stateline & Timber Cove: https://tahoesouth.com/things-to-do/lake-tahoe-webcams/ 

Heavenly Mountain: https://www.skiheavenly.com/the-mountain/mountain-conditions/mountain-cams.aspx 

Zephyr Cove: http://www.alertwildfire.org/tahoe/?camera=Axis-Zephyr 


For up to date information on wildfires: 

Dixie Fire https://www.fire.ca.gov/incidents/2021/7/14/dixie-fire/ 

Caldor Fire https://www.fire.ca.gov/incidents/2021/8/14/caldor-fire/  


Your phone likely has a weather app that includes an AQI reading.  Whether you have an Android or an iPhone, simply click on the app and scroll down to the AQI section to see what the current conditions are. 

poor visibility in Stateline Nevada Lake Tahoe due to Dixie Fire wildfire smoke bad air quality

Current smoke and haze conditions in Lake Tahoe at Stateline on August 16th, 2021. (Provided / Tahoe South)


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