The U.S. Forest Service has set up an air monitor in the Groveland area, bringing to three now covering the foothill area.
Forest Service officials say the data from the Groveland monitor should be on line starting today. Similar monitors have been placed in Murphys and Tuolumne City.
Residents can monitor the smoke level readings by going to the U.S. Forest Service Website: Stanislaus National Forest From there you can click on “Fire Use-Incident Information” and find “Interagency Real Time Smoke Monitoring.”
You can also call the Stanislaus National Forest Sonora office at (209) 532-3671, Extension 343 for more information.
Thick smoke coming from three large fires in the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park have been allowed to burn since being ignited by lightning this summer. These are higher elevation fires and are not threatening any communities.
These fires are burning in heavy pockets of dead and downed trees and other materials on the forest floor. Air tankers from Columbia CDF Air Attack Base have been working the fires to keep them in control and slow their progress.
For more than a week smoke from the fires has been filtering into the foothills particularly in the areas around Sonora, Twain Harte and Murphys. The smoke is exceptionally noticeable in the morning hours, hanging in the low drainages and in the trees, cutting visibility dramatically.