Winds could blow smoke out |

Winds could blow smoke out

Southwest winds could blow wildfire smoke out of Nevada County for the 4th of July weekend and the National Weather Service in Sacramento is predicting clear skies for the federal holiday here.

However, recreationists could easily run into smoky conditions in the northern Sierra this weekend.

The last major blaze on the Yuba River Complex, the Fall Fire, is almost contained but continues to burn near Bowman Lake in tricky terrain according to the Tahoe National Forest.

Smoke could also drift in from the American River Complex in Placer County, where firefighters are having particular trouble with the Government Springs Fire near Blue Canyon.

More smoke could come from the Canyon Complex of fires in Plumas County north of Nevada and Sierra counties, according to a statement this morning from the Plumas National Forest.

While the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District has not issued an air quality warning for today, Joe Fish at the district said last week if you can see or smell smoke, the particulate levels in the air are dangerous.

In addition ozone levels have been in the unhealthy for sensitive individuals range the past two evenings and hit the unhealthy level at 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, the Belden Fire in the Canyon Complex threatened the resort town of the same name on Highway 70 in the Feather River Canyon Wednesday.

That caused the Plumas County Sheriff to issue a voluntary evacuation for those in the Belden area living north of the highway and an advisement for those south of the road to get ready to leave.

The fire is in extremely steep canyon terrain on a ridge about 1/2 mile above Belden, forest officials said.

Helicopter rapellers trying to drop into the blaze Wednesday were turned back by a large number of snags left over from a fire there in 2000 and advancing flames.

Highway 70 is now closed from Belden to the top of the Feather River Canyon where it intersects with Highway 89.

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