Tesla aims to reduce wildfire smoke exposure for Nevada Gigafactory workers, memo explains


Drinking water tender crews check a backfire for the duration of the Mosquito fireplace in Foresthill, an unincorporated region of Placer County, California on September 13, 2022.

Josh Edelson | AFP | Getty Pictures

As a substantial wildfire chewed by tens of countless numbers of acres in California above the previous week, smoke and ash billowed into nearby towns such as Sparks — household to Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada.

Tesla is using actions to protect employees from publicity to the smoke from the wildfire — regarded as the Mosquito Hearth — as a lot as attainable but the firm stopped shy of furloughing staff.

In accordance to an interior memo shared with CNBC, Tesla educated personnel at the facility that the building’s heating, venting and cooling (HVAC) technique was established to a “recirculation manner to limit the sum of outside air pulled into the manufacturing facility.”

All round air excellent about the Tesla facility was rated “unhealthy” to “incredibly unhealthy” on Thursday and Friday with about 57 micrograms of fine particulate make any difference for each cubic meter of air, in accordance to the U.S. Air Top quality Index.

When air high-quality is that poor, people of all ages are suggested to severely limit out of doors activities, and use a mask outside the house to filter smoke and other pollutants. They are also encouraged to maintain windows closed to shut the air pollution out of their residences and places of work.

Nevada Gigafactory HVAC filters have been upgraded to a MERV 13 degree or higher around the previous yr to seize wildfire particulates. Individuals filters have been swapped out for new ones on a a lot more repeated basis this yr, Tesla instructed workers, and that ought to proceed amid the smoky problems.

The region was plagued with wildfires and air pollution very last year as perfectly. California’s Caldor Fire, for illustration, burned far more than 220,000 acres in 2021, destroying residences, land and leading to hazardous air excellent in bordering spots together with in Nevada.

According to the California Air Resources Board (CARB), “weather adjust, generally triggered by the burning of fossil fuels, is growing the frequency and severity of wildfires not only in California but also all around the environment.”

Employees stationed at or routinely heading to outside spots were being urged to choose up N95 masks at an business office in the Gigafactory, and held apprised of air high-quality amounts this 7 days as nicely.

The Mosquito Fire was 20% contained as of late Friday according to the CalFire web page, with cooler weather conditions forecast about the weekend that was expected to aid fire fighters in their work to extinguish the flames.