Kurt Hildebrand

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August 23, 2012
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California fires generating smoke in Carson Valley

Smoke from five wildland fires burning nearly 500,000 acres in Northern California filled the Carson Valley on Thursday.

The Ponderosa fire has burned 24,388 acres in Shasta County, and has destroyed 69 structures so far.

The Rush fire burning just east of Susanville is the largest of the fires on the Nevada-California border.

As of Thursday it has burned an area 42 miles long and 16 miles wide.

Smoke Creek Road, a popular route to Burning Man, has been closed by the fire. The Rush fire, set by lightning on Aug. 12, has burned 317,616 acres. Firefighters expect to have it contained by noon Tuesday.

The 63,417-acre Chips fire is continuing to burn south of Lake Almanor, and has forced evacuations of communities in its path.

The fire is 40 percent contained and isn't expected to be completely out until Aug. 31.

The Bagley complex fire burning west of Big Bend is up to 7,302 acres and is burning in the timber, producing heavy smoke.

Air quality in the Valley is considered moderate to unhealthy for sensitive groups, according to Airnow.gov, which monitors air over California and Western Nevada.

The National Weather Service forecasts continued west winds through Friday night, with the wind shifting to the southwest on Saturday, which may bring some relief from the smoke.

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The Record Courier Updated Aug 24, 2012 12:32PM Published Aug 23, 2012 03:58PM Copyright 2012 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.