Clover Fire Update

Yet another day of smoke triggered a health advisory in the Eastern Sierra. Wednesday evening, Great Basin Air pollution Control issued a public health advisory urging people to stay indoors to avoid the smoke. Earlier in the week Great Basin Director Ted Schade explained that the pollution levels have to average out to above the state limit for 24 hours before they issue a health advisory.

He also explained that there was no official warning that pollution levels can be unhealthy for short periods. The general rule of thumb in the Eastern Sierra, he said, is that if you cant see the mountains, the air is not good for you.

The advice, now that the advisory is official, is the same as before. The high levels can be bad for everyone, though, not just those who are sensitive to smoke. Most people should stay inside, re-circulate the air in the car while you drive, and avoid exertion outside. Basically, take it easy while the smoke hangs around.

With the air quality rated at unhealthy, people with heart and lung problems should monitor their condition and contact their doctor if things get worse. Very sensitive people should consider leaving the area until conditions improve, according to Great Basin.

Meanwhile the Inyo National Forest has taken over the east side of the Clover fire burning in the Sierra southwest of Olancha. At last report the fire was still listed at about 14,000 acres in size. 5,000 of those acres lie in the Inyo National Forest. Fire officials say that crews working east of the crest have made good progress and were scheduled to start fighting the fire on the west side of the Sierra Crest. The East Zone containment is now listed at 50%. One helicopter and 647 fire personnel are now assigned to the Clover fire.

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