Major progress on fires |

Major progress on fires

The Yuba River Complex of wildfires is more than 50 percent contained this morning and firefighters expect more progress today, according to Ann Westling of the Tahoe National Forest.

Backfires will be lit today to help consume forest fuels between the fire lines and the main part of the blazes, which will probably produce more smoke, Westling said.

A health alert remains in effect with the smoke through Monday and residents should avoid outdoor activities, according to the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District in Grass Valley.

The National Weather Service in Sacramento predicted thunderstorms and dry lightning for the higher elevations of the Sierra today, with a slight chance of them again Monday and again Thursday. Those strikes could produce more fires like those currently burning all over Northern California.

Smoky conditions are also expected to last through Wednesday afternoon. The air district advised residents last week that if they can see or smell smoke, that means the air quality is dangerous and people should stay indoors, particularly the elderly, children and those with breathing maladies.

No one has been seriously injured on any of the fires and no homes have been lost in the complex, according to Joyce Canon of the Tahoe National Forest.

Many are residents have asked what they can do to help the firefighters or what they can donate, so the Tahoe National Forest released the following message this morning. Here it is in verbatim:

Incident Commander Carlton Joseph would like to thank the community for their heartfelt contributions and offers to volunteer in this fire fighting effort.

As much as he appreciates the offer of help, there are very stringent training and physical fitness requirements before individuals can become a firefighter.

The Southern California Incident Management Team 1 and the Forest Service appreciate the donations of cookies and other foods, however because of food safety concerns, please consider the following offerings instead of food:

Make thank you cards, posters or signs for the firefighters.

Complete your own defensible space.

Help your neighbor complete their defensible space.

Contact the Nevada County Fire Safe Council to volunteer for their Senior Assistance Program (530) 272-1122 or other programs.

Donate to the Nevada County Food Bank (530) 272-3796.

Donate to the following charities not selling fireworks this year: Nevada Union Band, Truth Worship Center, New Covenant Baptist Church, Chicago Park 4-H, Sierra Christian Academy, Nevada Union Choir, Calvary Bible Church, and the Lyman Gilmore Band.

Donate to the Red Cross (530) 673-1460.

Donate to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation (208) 336-2996.

Donate to the Firefighter Burn Institute (916) 739-8525.

Donate to the Forest Service Penny Pines Program to replant forests after fires (530) 265-4531.

To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail or call 477-4237.

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