by Kurt Hildebrand
khildebrand@recordcourier.com

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August 26, 2013
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Monday update: Rim fire still sending smoke into Valley

Smoke from the Rim fire, burning near Yosemite, continues to pour into Carson Valley, reducing visibility to around 2 miles this morning, an improvement over Saturday and Sunday mornings.

The fire continues to grow, adding 14,360 acres over the past 24 hours to hit 149,780 acres according to a federal situation report issued 4:30 a.m. today.

Nearly 800 firefighters joined the more than 2,600 working on the fire, which is burning in steep terrain into the northeastern portion of Yosemite National Park.

The battle, conducted by 52 hand crews, 444 engines and a dozen helicopters, has managed to keep the number of structures down to fewer than two dozen. The fire still threatens 4,500 structures, and has forced the evacuation of Tuolumne City, Twain Harte and Long Barn. Containment is at 15 percent.

Highway 120 the main route to Yosemite’s western entrance is closed, as is the Groveland Ranger District.

On Sunday, the smoke plume from the fire traced a line north by northeast right through Alpine and Douglas counties.

Afternoon winds helped clear the air a bit over the weekend, and should provide some relief today.

Smoke is expected to continue through today and into Tuesday, when a southeast wind gusting to 20 mph should send the plume back into California.

Residents with health issues are advised to remain indoors. Those without should avoid strenuous activity in the smoke.

The Rim fire has replaced the American fire as a source for smoke in Western Nevada. Firefighters have a around 78 percent of the American fire, and expect to have it contained by Friday, two days earlier than previously estimated.

The Spring Peak fire, which threatened Bodie is 98 percent contained at 14,200 acres. A handful of firefighters remain onscene to douse hotspots, and try and preserve sage grouse habitat.


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The Record Courier Updated Sep 2, 2013 12:28PM Published Aug 27, 2013 09:34AM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.