RENO — Bitter cold temperatures are trapping air pollution in the valleys of western Nevada, prompting Washoe County health officials to issue a ban on using fireplaces, wood or pellet stoves.
The red burning code area encompasses Reno, Sparks and outlying areas from Washoe Valley to Silver Knolls.
The Washoe County Health District says strong temperature inversions and stagnant weather conditions have caused air pollution levels to increase rapidly.
Temperatures in the valleys have plunged to around zero or below in the Reno-Sparks area the past few days, and daytime highs have not made it above freezing.
Cold air traps air pollutants and officials say the region’s air quality may be unhealthy for sensitive groups. Health officials say people with heart or lung problems, older adults and children should avoid prolonged exertion.