More smoke expected over county |

More smoke expected over county

Expect more smoke over Nevada County today and tonight as winds pick up and push it south from the huge Humboldt Incident blaze in Butte County.

The Grass Valley Interagency Command Center reported only a few small fires in the Nevada, Placer and Yuba counties areas as of 3 p.m. today.

Meanwhile, extreme fire conditions will continue in Nevada County through Friday morning as firefighters battle wind-whipped blazes across the state.

Today has been declared a no-burn day by the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District in Grass Valley, and residents are urged to use caution when using machinery which could cause sparks.

This morning the National Weather Service in Sacramento extended its red flag fire warning for the Sierra until 8 a.m. Friday, due to expected strong winds, low humidity and dry conditions.

Winds are predicted to pick up this evening, with gusts up to 30 mph.

Three firefighters were burned near Lincoln Wednesday , when they were caught in a 65-acre grass fire burning in a dry rice field.

Two of them had moderate to severe burns to their faces and arms, while the third was released from a hospital after treatment for minor facial burns.

In Butte County, several hundred homes were evacuated ahead of the Humboldt wildfire near Chico. The blaze had grown to 6,000 acres and threatened about 1,650 structures.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in Butte County late Wednesday to free up additional fire fighting resources.

“We are mobilizing and coordinating all of the resources necessary to fight these fires,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement.

A fast-moving blaze near Santa Cruz grew to 700 acres after it broke around 3 p.m. Wednesday, and it was only 5 percent contained by the this morning.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered for 500 residents in the heavily forested hills. Voluntary evacuations were in place for another 1,000 residents.

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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