Researchers are using an underwater glider in Lake Tahoe to study the impact of Mosquito Fire smoke

This time last week, the Mosquito Fire, burning in Placer and El Dorado County, had started to send huge plumes of smoke high into the air. Researchers in the Lake Tahoe area had been watching the fire carefully. When it became clear that smoke would soon cloud the Tahoe Basin, they moved quickly to deploy a special robotic glider, designed to track changes in the lake as smoke conditions worsened. Dr. Alex Forrest is a lead scientist with this research, which is supported by the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center. He says smoke contains all kinds of microscopic particles that can end up in the water. “The smoke itself carries a fair bit of nitrogen. And so it deposits nutrients into the water," says Forrest, "it also will put particle pollution into the water.”