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All smoke, no fires for Owens Valley residents

August 29, 2013

Smoke levels from the Fish Fire, burning in Sequoia National Park, caused the Great Basin Air Pollution Control District to issue an “unhealthy for sensitive groups” advisory in the Owens Lake area Saturday. Photo courtesy GBAPCD

While storm activity has spared the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada for the past week, Owens Valley residents remain impacted by smoke from wildland fires raging on the western slopes.
Between the Windy Peak Fire 21 miles west of Aberdeen and the Fish Fire burning towards the Golden Trout Wilderness Area, Great Basin Air Pollution Control District declared an “unhealthy for sensitive group” advisory at Owens Lake and a “moderate” advisory in Bishop on Saturday. By Sunday, south winds had cleared out the Bishop area but a haze remained in the north end of the valley Monday morning.
As of Monday morning, the Windy Peak Fire had reached 200 acres burning in brush and mixed conifers in Kings Canyon National Park. The lightning-caused fire was discovered during a reconnaissance flight last Friday burning north of the Middle Fork of the Kings River near Simpson Meadow and Windy Peak.
According to a press release from the National Park Service, the fire currently presents no threat to life or property.
The Fish Fire, at 1,450 acres, has a high growth potential according to a national fire incident website and is moving east and north from its point of origin 24 miles west of Olancha in Sequoia National Park.
The lightning-caused fire started Friday and is being managed in a full suppression strategy. It was 7 percent contained as of Monday morning.
CalFire personnel responding to the Spring Peak Fire have returned to Round Valley as the fire burning near Bodie is now 98 percent contained.
Full containment is expected by today. The fire burnt 14,230 acres, forced closure of the road to Bodie and threatened the historical mining structures and cemetery at the Aurora townsite.
The Rim Fire in the Stanislaus National Forest north of and into Yosemite National Park had burned nearly 150,000 acres since its start Saturday, Aug. 17. As of Monday morning, the fire is only 15 percent contained.
Fire crews successfully redirected the fire down to the Tuolumne River and away from the State Route 108 corridor on the west front, but the fire continues to spread to the north and northeast.
The Rim Fire still has “extreme” growth potential as 3,678 personnel fight for containment.

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