Friday, 14 June 2024

Fires continue to impact air quality

LAKE COUNTY – Continued fire activity around the North Coast resulted in Lake County air quality and health officials issuing another alert warning for Thursday.

Lake County Air Pollution Control Officer Bob Reynolds warned that sensitive individuals – children, the elderly, and those with heart and lung conditions – should take care on Thursday due to degraded air quality.

The thick smoke that returned to Lake County's skies in recent days continues to come mostly from lightning fires in Mendocino and Butte counties, Reynolds said.

Reynolds added that, until all of the fires are out, residual haze can be expected to continue.

Fires have burned for nearly three weeks, since a lightning storm hit on the weekend of June 21, peppering the state with more than 8,000 lightning strikes and causing nearly 1,800 wildland fires.

Mendocino County's lightning complex has been responsible for much of the smoke coming through Lake County. Cal Fire officials reported Wednesday that the fire is 65-percent contained and has burned 51,200 acres, at a cost of $27.3 million, with one firefighter fatality and 36 other injuries.

Thirty-seven fires are actively burning, with another 90 contained in Mendocino County. Cal fire said there are continued threats to communities and infrastructure, with more backfiring – or special burns – planned. A red flag warning is in effect through Friday due to extremely hot temperatures which are causing extreme fire conditions.

In the Mendocino National Forest, the Soda Complex, also caused by lightning fires on June 21, continues to inch toward containment, having burned 6,080 acres on the Upper Lake Ranger District in Lake and Mendocino counties.

Forest Services spokesperson Phebe Brown reported that the Soda Complex is now 78-percent contained, with two out of four original fires remaining active in the complex, which is burning to the north and northwest of Lake Pillsbury.

Elsewhere in the forest, the Yolla Bolly Complex, located in the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness in Mendocino, Trinity and Tehama counties, has burned 7,987 acres and is 65-percent contained, Brown reported.

More than $7 million has been spent on fighting those two complexes, Brown reported.

For more information about the forest fires visit Forest Service Web site at For information about other fires around the state, visit

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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