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Smoke Still Choking The Mother Lode

Even in the smoke and smog, Yosemite’s natural beauty and awe shines through.

Drift smoke from fires in Oregon and California, including a number of lightning-caused wildfires that are being allowed to burn within the Yosemite National Park region, have choked the Mother Lode, foothills and Central Valley with smog and dangerously-high ozone levels.

The 142,800-acre McNalley fire continues to burn south of here in the Sequoia National Forest. It is 87 percent contained as of this morning.

Cooler temperatures are helping us see some blue in the sky, but not by much. Changing weather patterns expected this past weekend were supposed to clear away the lingering smoke, but didn’t do too much to eliminate the problem.

San Joaquin Valley air quality officials say no Spare the Air days will be called this week if temperatures stay below 100 degrees. Officials called Spare the Air days much of last week after heat and pollution sent smog levels soaring. The National Weather Service predicts temperatures will be in the 90s this week.