Kurt Hildebrand

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August 27, 2013
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Forecasters: Smoke here until Thursday

Sporting events are not the only casualties from the dense smoke coming from the Rim fire burning west of Yosemite.

Wednesday’s Lampe Park Farmers Market was canceled after air quality levels hit hazardous levels on Tuesday afternoon.

The National Weather Service issued a dense smoke advisory that doesn’t expire until Thursday morning. Smoke in Douglas and Alpine counties will reduce visibility to a quarter mile or less at times. The smoke will continue to result in very unhealthy air quality through the week as southwest winds push smoke from the fire.

Health officials warn residents who have heart or lung problems to stay indoors while the smoke lingers.

According to the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection and Douglas County Emergency Management, young children, the elderly and people with asthma or other respiratory issues may experience more serious effects. People should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion outside and consult with their health care provider if needed.

It is recommended that individuals consider limiting strenuous outdoor activity to reduce the risk of adverse health effects. People who may be especially sensitive to elevated levels of pollutants include the very young, the elderly and those with pre-existing respiratory problems such as asthma and/or heart disease. Those with symptoms should consider consulting with their personal physician. On Tuesday morning the fire continued to convert timber into smoke and ash, consuming another 18,500 acres to a total of 280.4 square miles,

Nearly 3,800 firefighters in 64 hand crews and 460 engines are fighting the fire, whose price tag hit $27.2 million Monday night.

Fire officials said firefighters worked overnight on Monday’s spot fires and continued with line construction throughout the fire.

Firefighters were able to get line in, and successfully burn out the forest adjacent to Yosemite National Park south of Highway 120 to slow the spread of the fire, they said.

All that effort succeeded in getting a line a fifth of the way around the fire that has been burning since Aug. 17. There is no estimated date for containment as of Tuesday afternoon.

With the fire burning actively during the night, crews have been building lines away from the fire.

Damage assessments from the Berkeley Tuolumne Camp revealed extensive losses, fire officials said. Rapid fire growth and extreme fire behavior are hampering suppression efforts.

Aircraft are being used to slow the fire’s advance through terrain that ground crews can’t reach.

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The Record Courier Updated Aug 27, 2013 06:46PM Published Aug 29, 2013 06:22PM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.