After the recent rash of wildfires in the Eastern Sierra, the sight of so much smoke filling the air above Bishop yesterday was a bit unsettling. Local Forest Service Officials also saw the smoke, but with no major fires burning in the eastern sierra or the west side of the mountains they were not exactly sure where the smoke was coming from.
Nancy Upham with the Forest Service reports that there is still a small amount of smoke coming from the Inyo Complex and there was also a 200 acre fire at Conway Summit. Upham explained that local Forest Service dispatchers had to call a fire lookout on the Sequoia National Forest to see what was happening on the other side of the mountains. The Lookout reported that the entire Kern Plateau was socked in with smoke, but there were no major fires burning. The official best guess from the fire lookout, is that the smoke was from the Zaca fire burning near Los Olivos in the Coast Range. That fire is listed as 25,000 acres in size and 35% contained as of Tuesday.
The fact that the smoke would be so visible in Inyo County is "pretty weird" according to Nancy Upham.