Controlled burn gets a little out of control

Skies over Carson City were hazy Monday after shifting winds caused the unexpected growth of a wildland fire in Stanislaus National Forest.

The Mud Fire, which was started Aug. 31 by a lightning strike, grew to 1,700 acres Sunday.

Sid Beckman, assistant fire management officer for the Calaveras Ranger District, said the fires are being managed for resource benefits.

"We are herding them off into the wilderness to keep them away from development and resources," he said.

Beckman said a northwest wind Sunday caused the fire to grow by 1,000 acres, which in turn sent the new smoke into Northern Nevada.

"One thing that is important to mention here is that we are in contact constantly with air quality folks in Bishop and Washoe County and get regular updates on the quality and condition," he said.

Another fire burning in Calavares County was also started by lightning Aug. 31, which officials also decided to use to their advantage.

The Whit fire was at 360 acres on Monday.

Both fires are in the 7,000 to 8,000 foot elevation.

Beckman said further south near the Immigrant Wilderness an 1,800 acre fire has been burning since early August.

Stanislaus National Forest is 125 miles south of Carson City in Sonoma, Calif.


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