Zaca Smoke Returns to the Eastern Sierra

It looks like the smoke from the Zaca Fire has returned to the Eastern Sierra. Smoke filled the Owens Valley again today, causing hazy skies and reduced visibility.

The Zaca Fire is burning in the mountains near Santa Barbara about 15 miles from Buellton and Los Olivos. This active and growing wildfire was listed at 44,000 acres in size last Saturday, but has grown to 74,000 acres at last word.

Satellite images available online show the origin of the smoke near the coast with a big triangle of billowing yellow gray clouds headed over Bakersfield and into the Eastern Sierra.

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department website reports that temperatures over the next few days are expected to rise, while humidity is expected to drop.

Right now the fire is reportedly 72% contained. In the meantime fire officials report that the fire is burning in steep rocky terrain with difficult access and some areas are under an evacuation order. So far the CDF reports that fire suppression efforts have cost $56 million.

While the fire has been burning since the fourth of July, firefighters don’t expect the blaze to be contained until September 7th. Smoke from the Zaca fire came through the Eastern Sierra in mid July, and could return yet again before this fire finally goes out.

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