Hazy skies in the Sacramento Valley and Sierra Foothills have people on high alert wondering where the fire is and what is causing all the smoke?

Technology now gives us a better picture of smoke plumes.

FIRE: Today we are using the newly integrated GOES-17 Satellite High-resolution visible satellite imagery. It is showing a distinct smoke plume near Kirkwood pushing smoke into places like Folsom, Roseville, and Sacramento.

In the Sierra Foothills, the smoke was thicker with reports of ash falling.

This lines up with the US Forest Service Caples Prescribed Fire going along Highway 88 near Kirkwood.

This is being done along the northern ridge above Caples Creek called the Caples Ecological Restoration Project. Fire management teams have been starting control burns for the last 10 days.

In preparation of the wind event, firefighters secured the perimeter edge to prevent further spread.

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SMOKE: Now that ignitions have been completed, smoke is expected to lighten over the next several days. Note that smoke is typically heavier in the morning after the air cools and settles at night. Smoke can be detected in communities throughout the western Sierra slope of El Dorado County, possibly the Lake Tahoe Basin, Carson City, Gardnerville, or Reno depending on wind direction.

As always, anyone sensitive to smoke should reduce exposure by avoiding smoky areas, closing windows, or staying indoors.

Caution: Due to the active prescribed fire operations in progress, hiking on the Caples Creek Trail is not recommended.

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BACKGROUND: The multiyear project will be working to improve forest health and fire resiliency to 8,800 acres along with increasing public safety.

Prescribed fire treatments reduce available fuel for fire, maintain vegetation conditions that allow fires to burn with lower intensities and create defensible space.

After the winds calm this weekend, the fire will be reassessed to determine further management action.

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PROJECT: According to the US Forest Service, the Caples Ecological Restoration Project is a collaborative effort between the Eldorado National Forest, El Dorado Irrigation District and Sierra Nature Conservancy to restore fire to the Caples Creek watershed where naturally occurring wildfires started by lighting have been suppressed since 1908. 

The project provides a strategic landscape-wide fuel treatment that will reduce fuel to pre-settlement conditions that will protect the chief water supply to El Dorado County, improve wildlife habitat and create defensible space to nearby communities. 

The Caples Creek watershed provides a primary water supply for 110,000 people in the El Dorado Irrigation District (EID) service area and includes some of the last remaining old growth in the Eldorado National Forest.

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