Sunday update: Glitch, not fire, extends Rim containment date |

Sunday update: Glitch, not fire, extends Rim containment date

John Flaherty took this photo of a smoky sunrise in Topaz Ranch Estates this morning.
John Flaherty | Special to The R-C

An Oct. 20 containment date was the result of a software glitch not the expansion of the fourth largest fire in California history.

As of this afternoon air quality in the unhealthy levels after the wind shifted back to the south blowing smoke into the Valley from the 224,777-acre Rim fire, burning 75 miles south of Gardnerville.

The current containment date is Sept. 20 as more than 5,100 firefighters have a line 45 percent around the blaze, as improved humidity slowed the fire’s spread. But heavy timber continues to burn and firefighters have rated both the terrain and the growth potential in the extreme range. The fire’s expected to continue its march into Yosemite National Park.

Carson Valley traded smoke for cloudy skies on Sunday morning as the air quality improved to good or moderate for the longest period in 10 days. But by late morning smoke increased in the Valley, reaching 180 at 4 p.m.

Forecasters say there’s a chance of showers or thundershowers through Labor Day before the wind shifts and the smoke returns on Tuesday.

A dense smoke advisory continues to be in effect for El Dorado, Alpine and Mono counties. Southern Douglas County is also getting hit bard by the smoke.

Winds from the east, north and due west helped clear the smoke out of the Valley. Those winds are expected to shift back to the south and southwest, bringing smoke from the Rim fire back into the Valley.

The cost of fighting the fire is up to $60 million. Five firefighters have been injured. No new homes have been destroyed.