Calif. Forest Fire Causes Hazy Zkies in San Francisco Bay Area, Central Valley

Thursday, September 6th 2007, 10:53 pm
By: News On 6

GREENVILLE, Calif. (AP) -- A growing forest fire in the northeast Sierra Nevada prompted evacuations Thursday and created smoggy skies as far away as San Francisco.

The fire has burned about 43 square miles in the Plumas National Forest since igniting near Greenville on Monday and was about 10 percent contained Thursday afternoon, said Mark Beaulieu, spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service.

State fire officials issued a mandatory evacuation order for about 100 homes in the North Arm of Indian Valley and a voluntary order for another 400 homes in the communities of Genesee and Taylorsville, he said.

The blaze destroyed an unoccupied summer home, trailer and small shed, but no injuries were reported from the blaze, Beaulieu said.

Its smoke cast a hazy glow across much of Northern California and the San Joaquin Valley. Local health officials advised people with breathing problems to stay indoors.

With forecasts calling for lighter winds, firefighters hoped to make progress corralling the blaze, Beaulieu said. Eight planes were dropping fire retardant, and eight helicopters were dropping water over the fire.

A second Northern California wildfire, burning in Henry W. Coe State Park south of San Jose, grew to nearly 30 square miles acres Thursday and remained about one-quarter contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.