Smoke Pours Into the Eastern Sierra

Smoke from far away fires, lingering over the Eastern Sierra for weeks, poured over the mountains last night leaving a smoggy haze.

Sierrawaves Forecast specialist Dennis Mattinson reports the source of the smoke is the Zaca fire burning in the coast range above Santa Barbara as well as a smaller fire, called the Tar fire, burning in Fresno County.

CDF officials report that the tar fire, which started Saturday, is about 5600 acres in size and 75% contained.

The smoke from the larger Zaca Fire near Santa Barbara, shows up in Satellite photos, and lately has been aimed right toward the eastern Sierra.

This fire started July Fourth and has been growing since. In less than two weeks it has doubled in size. On august fourth the fire was listed at 44,000 acres. The fire was listed at 101,000 acres this morning.

Smoke over the Sierra made for a blood red sky at sunset yesterday. That same smoke is hanging closer to the ground causing the thick haze today. Mammoth was completely socked in and the smoke appeared to be headed straight toward Mono Lake.

Dwayne Ono with Great Basin Air Pollution Control reports that while there wasnt enough smoke earlier in the day to issue a health advisory, that people who are sensitive to the smoke should stay indoors and avoid strenuous activities.

The Zaca fire is 44% contained as of today and Fire officials say that they expect full containment September 7th. Depending on which way the wind blows, this fire could be sending smoke toward the Eastern Sierra for the rest of the summer.

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