Wildfire Smoke Expected to Continue

Some smoke continues to drift into the Eastern Sierra from two fires burning in Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park. The Tehipite fire has been burning since July in a remote area of the Sierra. The most recent weekly flyover listed that fire at close to 10,000 acres in size. While the Tehipite will likely continue to smolder and burn until wet weather arrives, firefighters report progress on the Hidden fire, also burning in the park.

This lightning-caused fire started on September 10th, and has been actively fought. At last word the fire fighters had nearly completed a containment line around the fire. The hidden fire is listed at 3600 acres in size and 90% contained.

After a long summer of unclear skies, some residents have called in complaints about the smoke. National Park officials say that the Tehipite fire is slowing down as the days get shorter.

Much of the recent smoke is from the Hidden fire, according to Deb Schweizer with Sequoia Kings. She says that the Hidden fire has shown a lot of growth recently, with 1500 acres of growth on Tuesday. Fire fighters have used burn out techniques to create the fire line which contributed to the smoky skies. That fire line now encircles 90% of the fire, but firefighters describe the Hidden fire as patchy, and scabby, meaning that more smoke is expected over the next few days as the fire burns through patches in the interior of the containment lines.

With early fires in Northern California, plus fires in the Southern Sierra and near Yosemite, its been a long season Scwheizer says. Park Officials are asking for patience with the smoke.

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