- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 9, 2014

RENO, Nev. (AP) - Deteriorating air quality in the Reno area due to a stagnant weather pattern on the Sierra’s eastern front has prompted health officials to temporarily ban the burning of wood or pellets in fireplaces and stoves.

The Washoe County Health District issued the first red burn code of the winter season at 3 p.m. Tuesday effective for Reno, Sparks and southern Washoe County into Washoe Valley.

District officials say the air quality index has moved into the unhealthy category for sensitive groups, including young children, the elderly and people with lung or heart disease. They recommend everyone avoid prolonged exertion outdoors.

The National Weather Service expects light winds to pick up early Wednesday in front of a winter storm with the potential to bring heavy snow to Lake Tahoe by Thursday.

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