National Weather Service says haze is here to stay |

National Weather Service says haze is here to stay

The haze likely isn't going anywhere.

The Mendocino Complex and Ferguson fires have filled the air with smoke that could linger for weeks. Higher winds starting tonight could provide short-term relief, though the haze will continue until the fires are out, said Eric Kurth, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

"For major improvements, the fires are going to have to go out or at least be close to that," he added.

Joe Fish, deputy air pollution control officer with the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District, said people vacationing in the foothills ask whether the conditions will end soon.

His answer: No one knows.

"It's a question of your personal tolerance," Fish said. "How much smoke are you willing to breathe?"

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According to Kurth, smoke builds during the day. The Delta breeze pushes it into the foothills each afternoon, and some of it flows farther east at night. The cycle then repeats.

Widespread rain, not expected for weeks, is needed to extinguish the fires, Kurth said.

The smoke has made conditions unhealthy for people in sensitive groups, like those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Fish said.

Those in sensitive groups should stay indoors when possible, keep doors and windows closed and use the air-conditioner.

Temperatures are expected to hit the low 90s through the weekend, with widespread haze forecast into next week, the National Weather Service states.

Today's high will reach around 94. Lows will drop to 66 tonight.

Friday's high will climb to 92, with lows dipping to 64 at night.

Expect Saturday's temperatures to top out at 90. Lows will bottom out around 63.

Sunday's highs will hit 91. Lows will drop to 63.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email or call 530-477-4239.

For your information

Ranch Fire, part of the Mendocino Complex

Size: 251,166 acres

Containment: 46 percent

Counties: Colusa, Lake and Mendocino

Location: Near Potter Valley, northeast of Ukiah, off Highway 20

River Fire, part of the Mendocino Complex

Size: 48,920 acres

Containment: 81 percent contained

Counties: Colusa, Lake and Mendocino

Location: Old River Road, near Mile Marker 7.9

Ferguson Fire

Size: 91,502 acres

Containment: 38 percent

County: Mariposa

Location: Highway 140 and Hite Cove

Carr Fire

Size: 173,522 acres

Containment: 47 percent

County: Shasta and Trinity

Location: Highway 299 and Carr Powerhouse Road

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