Saturday update: Rim fire still smoking |

Saturday update: Rim fire still smoking

Staff Reports
Trees after the Rim fire burned through.
Mike McMillan | U.S. Forest Service

Smoke from the Rim fire appears to be lessening as air quality in Carson Valley was down to moderate levels for most of this morning, according to the air quality monitor at Ranchos Aspen Park.

Most of the smoke is appearing as haze in the Carson Valley today, with southwest winds bringing a bit into the Valley until around dinnertime when the wind’s expected to pick up and shift to the west.

Air quality in the Gardnerville Ranchos hit unhealthy levels briefly around 3 a.m. this morning, but dropped back down to moderate levels through this afternoon. The smoke plume clearly shows Carson Valley downwind of the fire, which is burning 60 miles south of Gardnerville.

The fire burning in Yosemite National Park has slowed a bit, growing to 252,156 acres, an increase of 14,815 acres since Friday.

Aerial firing operations, where helicopters are used to set back fires, reduced fuel in front of the northern flank of the fire to prevent it from jumping containment lines.

Fire officials said unburned vegetation inside the containment lines continues to burn through the night. Firefighters also set back fires from hand lines and natural barriers on the fire’s southeastern flank.

Active burning continues on the northeast and southeast fronts, with at least one hot spot falling within three miles of Yosemite Valley.

Tioga Pass Road remains closed east of White Wolf, requiring visitors to Tuolumne Meadows to travel over the Sierra and take Highway 395 to Lee Vining.

A half-dozen firefighters have been injured fighting the fire. There are about 3,500 firefighters working the blaze. About 1,900 homes are threatened by the fire, which claimed 11 since it was started by a hunter’s campfire on Aug. 17.