Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Residents of the Wood River Valley will likely see smoke for some time to come.

Hazy skies from California wildfires


By TONY EVANS
Express Staff Writer

Wildfires that began on June 20 in northern California continue to send a smoky haze over the mountains of Idaho. While the skies may clear from time to time due to shifting winds, residents of the Wood River Valley will likely see smoke for some time to come.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported that a total of 323 fires remained active in the state as of Tuesday afternoon. The fire near Big Sur, which was at 80,186 acres, was 18 percent contained. Yet a heat wave is expected to arrive in the fire-stricken region on Wednesday, bringing temperatures of around 90-98 Fahrenheit, hampering fire-fighting efforts.

Sawtooth National Forest officials told the Idaho Mountain Express on Tuesday that our hazy skies could persist indefinitely, depending on the strength and direction of winds from the west coast, and how long it takes fire fighters to control the blazes.

California wildfires in October caused eight deaths, destroyed 2000 homes, displaced 640,000 people and resulted in a billion dollars in damages.




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