Experts Say Fire Will Create Algae In Lake Tahoe

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, June 25, 2007

Scientists say all the ash and soot from the blaze will definitely have an effect on the lake.

"This ash is lifting into the sky and then falls into the lake where in fact it becomes a series factor in terms of lake clarity."

UC Davis air pollution expert Tom Cahill says the ash contains phosphorous – a nutrient that promotes the growth of algae. Cahill predicts we’ll see algae growing at the south end of the lake where most of the ash is falling. 

"There’ll be a short term effect. We don’t think it’ll be very long term because of the fact that the fire was a short duration."

Meantime, researchers Monday set up several air samplers around the lakeshore to catch smoke from the fire. They’re studying how much air pollution enters the lake from all airborne sources.