The Ferguson Fire burning west of Yosemite National Park is causing the entire southern and central Sierra Nevada region to experience significant smoke impacts. The smoke is expected to worsen throughout the weekend and for the next seven days. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District has issued a health advisory for at least the next week.
“If you can smell smoke, and ash is present, there is significant risk, especially for those people who suffer from respiratory ailments,” said a SJVAPCD spokesperson.
The 23,000-acre fire, which started July 13, was seven percent contained as of Thursday, July 19. It is burning in thick vegetation on Bureau of Land Management land in steep, inaccessible terrain.
Portions of Highway 140 are closed in the El Portal and Mariposa areas. Yosemite National Park remains open.
A firefighter operating a bulldozer was killed when the heavy equipment overturned; two firefighters have been injured battling the blaze. As of Thursday, July 19, no structures have been destroyed.
For latest fire updates, evacuations, and road closures, go to https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5927/.