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Smoke From North State Fires Invades Valley
riv smoke
Dense clouds of smoke from the fires in Northern California got pushed south, into the Central Valley on Friday, Aug. 6. Riverbank residents awoke to brownish skies and poor air conditions. By noontime, here, the sun was hard to see through the smoke. Ric McGinnis/The News

This past weekend was not a great time for outdoor activities, as smoke from the Dixie Fire and the River Fire, both burning in Northern California, was pushed south by changing winds on Friday, Aug. 6.

Riverbank residents awoke that day to brownish skies, filtering the sunlight and changing its color.

Mid-morning, eastern skies still held a bit of blue in them, up high, but down on the ground, things appeared considerably darker.

By midday, even the upper reaches were darker. And air quality monitors were warning of difficulty breathing for those with respiratory problems.

Weather reports were indicating that the skies had improved by Sunday afternoon, and things were expected to return to near normal air quality conditions this week … through even that is subject to change.

Fire reports indicated that the Dixie Fire, begun in northern Butte County but burning into Plumas and Lassen counties, had moved from the eighth largest fire in California history to the third largest, by last weekend, and then took over the top spot by Monday of this week.