Sunday Update: Smoke casts Valley pall
Visibility was down to around a mile in Carson Valley this morning as smoke from the Rim fire burning west of Yosemite continued to pour north into Western Nevada.
The pattern this weekend has been for the smoke to build over night and then clear slightly under the western Zephyr.
However that little bit of relief won’t be available today if the forecast for winds out of the southwest holds true.
The fire added another 8,360 acres on Saturday growing to 209 square miles, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Fire growth on Thursday and Friday was around 40,000 acres a day.
The fire is continuing to burn brush, oak and pine east into the northwest corner of Yosemite National Park.
More than 2,600 firefighters are battling the blaze in rugged terrain that is in some places inaccessible to ground forces. In those areas, indirect tactics are being used, including air attack using fire tankers and cutting fire lines ahead of the burning areas.
A dense smoke advisory is in place for the Sierra’s eastern slope from Mammoth Lakes to Truckee, and including Western Douglas County.
Visibility is down to a quarter mile or less from Bridgeport to near Highway 50, making it difficult for residents to see or breathe. Smoke will continue to be a problem for the Sierra front until the fire dies down, or until the wind picks up blowing the smoke west or back south.
Today’s forecast is for breezy conditions with the wind out of the southwest 5-10 mph, increasing to 15-20 mph in the afternoon with gusts up to 30 mph. Expect more of the same on Monday.
In the meantime, health officials advise residents to stay indoors and to avoid strenuous activity in the smoke.