LOCAL AIR QUALITY WARNING AS NEARBY FIRE GROWS

LOCAL AIR QUALITY WARNING AS NEARBY FIRE GROWS

The size of the nearby Hathaway Fire that has been burning east of banning since Sunday has grown. Officials adjusted the burn area to 2,372 acres. Firefighters have contained 30 percent of the wildfire, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The Forest Service doesn’t expect full containment until June 25. Plumes of smoke from the fire can be seen from our Morongo Basin. The fire is burning in a remote area of heavy chaparral and timber stressed by drought and bug kill. Over 1,300 fire fighters, nine air tankers, 7 helicopters, 35 engines, 48 crews, 22 water tenders and 16 bulldozers are continuing to build a line around the fire. One building was destroyed at Snowpeak. Wind, high temperatures and low humidity is making the battle difficult for firefighters. Local areas such as Pioneertown, Yucca Valley, and Morongo Valley may be affected by smoke. The Air Quality Management District issued an Air Quality watch warning residents in the west end of the Morongo Basin. Smoke may be visible even when ground level air quality is not affected. If you smell smoke in the air where you are, be cautious and use common sense to protect your family’s health. Everyone – especially people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children – should limit the time spent outdoors and avoid outdoor exercise when smoke is in the area.

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