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Yuba fires near containment

The Yuba River Complex of wildland blazes in Nevada and Sierra counties is almost fully contained, and some who fought it are now being sent to other fires, including the raging American River Complex in Placer County.

Smoky conditions continue in Nevada County because of other Northern California fires, including the Government Springs Fire in Placer County, where firefighters made progress for the first time Wednesday.

Despite the overall progress in the Yuba River Complex where 3,721 acres have been charred, the Fall Fire near Bowman Lake remains pesky. It is 78-percent contained, according to Ann Westling of the Tahoe National Forest.



Firefighters expected to fully contain the Fall Fire within “the next couple days,” fire information officer Matt Corelli of the Yuba complex command center said.

“They did added firing today,” Westling said Wednesday about the 1,954-acre fire, in which vegetation between fire lines and the actual blaze is torched to stop advancement and spotting. The fire has burned down to the Yuba River and Canyon Creek, according to Matt Corelli at the fire complex command center at the Nevada County Fairgrounds.




“It’s really steep, with exposed rock coming up. It’s hard to get the burn contained,” Corelli said.

At the same time, the American River Complex was only 20-percent contained Wednesday night. The Government Springs Fire, near Blue Canyon, grew to 4,600 acres in steep, rough terrain. But firefighters made progress, achieving 10-percent containment, fire officials at the complex command center said.

“We had four helicopters dropping water on it today and they were doing burnouts. That’s where all the smoke was coming from,” said Marian Swinney, an information officer on the 6,000-acre blaze complex.

Smoke from those fires and the 20-percent contained, 12,000-acre Canyon Complex in Plumas County continue to blow into Nevada County, though particulate levels are no longer in the high danger zone.

An air alert has not been issued for today. But if you can see or smell smoke, particulate levels are unhealthy, said Joe Fish at the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District in Grass Valley.

Ozone levels have also risen into the unhealthy for sensitive individuals at times the past few week, adding to the air quality problem.

Smoky conditions will continue through tonight, according to the National Weather Service in Sacramento. Winds today could push smoke out of the foothills for 4th of July, the weather service reported.

Since last week’s lightning storm, 1,114 fires have burned almost 440,000 acres across the state, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

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


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