Smoky skies still coming from California fire |

Smoky skies still coming from California fire

Staff and wire report

Saturday’s smoky skies throughout the Eagle, Dayton and Carson valleys will be back today, according to the National Weather Service in Reno.

Smoke is coming from the Zaca fire that has been burning in the Santa Barbara County wilderness since July 4.

The blaze, which nudged its way into Ventura County this week, was 83 percent contained after burning 235,601 acres, or about 368 square miles, of steep backcountry.

The fire was about 15 miles away from the community of Ojai and did not threaten any other large communities, fire spokesman Larry Griffith said.

Despite its size, the fire has only destroyed one structure, an outbuilding.

Along the fire’s northwestern perimeter near the Sisquoc River, crews were cutting fire lines by hand and had about seven miles to build, Griffith said.

Sparks from equipment being used to repair a water pipe ignited the blaze north of Los Olivos on July 4. About 2,500 firefighters, aided by aircraft, were fighting the fire. Costs have reached $99.7 million.