An out of control wildfire near Yosemite National Park covered much of the inhabited part of Mineral County in a veil of smoke today.
The Rim fire has burned more than 105,000 acres in California between Sonora and Yosemite on both sides of Highway 120.
The fire had destroyed 16 structures and injured one of the 2,000 firefighters summoned to combat the blaze. So far the fire has caused $5.4 million in damages.
Over the next 24 hours the fire is expected to move up the Tuolumne River canyon and continue its spread north and east toward Cherry Lake and Yosemite.
“Due to inaccessible, steep terrain and active fire behavior a combination of direct and indirect attack will be used on this incident,” a firefighter spokesperson wrote on InciWeb, a website that disseminated disaster information. “Direct line suppression efforts are impeded by difficult access and steep inaccessible terrain. Active fire behavior today raises safety concerns for crews adjacent to the fire’s edge. Smoke exposure within the deep drainage of the Clavey River will be an issue for fire crews as well.”
Most of the smoke from the fire traveled in a north by north-east direction during the early parts of Friday.
At about noon an air quality map (link below) appeared to show that Hawthorne fell under the unhealthy for everyone area.
When the air quality is bad, health and weather officials suggest everyone stay inside and turn on their air conditioner to help filter the air.
Keep windows and doors closed. People sensitive to or bothered by the smoke should leave the area.
Highway 120 is closed for all traffic into and out of Yosemite. Also closed are: Ferretti Road and Highway 120 to Pine Mountain Drive and Ferretti Road, Smith Station at Highway 120, Cherry Lake at Highway 120, and Evergreen Road.
An evacuation order has been issued for the area north of Ferretti Road to Elderberry Road. The following additional areas have also been evacuated: Pine Mountain Lake; communities along Ferretti Road from Highway 120 to Pine Mountain Road; and Highway 120 at the Yosemite boundary west to Smith Station.
The evacuation center is at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora.
Current air quality conditions can be found here: http://airnow.gov/index.cfm?
Hawthorne is not noted on the map, but is near the California-Nevada border where the stateline angles southwest.