Union Democrat staff

Even as firefighters take hold of the Ferguson Fire, lingering smoke from other northern California fires has caused some organizations to postpone or cancel events.

The National Weather Service on Friday termed the conditions for more fire “critical” through Saturday night.

Onshore winds were expected to be 15 to 20 mph, with wind gusts up to 30 mph in the canyons and ridges.

The Weather Service said conditions were ripe for smoke to fill the interior of northern California due to the Carr, Mendocino Complex and Donnell fires. Some improvement will be possible Saturday but when the inversion layer returns next week, smoke will return as well.

The Calaveras Health and Human Services Agency issued another air quality advisory Thursday. In most of the county, the air was considered unhealthy but in Arnold, the agency said the air was hazardous.

On Friday morning, smoke hung over New Melones Reservoir like Pacific Ocean fog creeping onshore.

The Friday night Farmer's Market in Angels Camp was cancelled due to air quality but organizers expect the market to resume at 5 p.m. next Friday.

“Please stay indoors and be safe,” a press release from the market said.

The Tuolumne County Sportsman's annual Kennedy Meadows Picnic, scheduled for today, was cancelled and will not be rescheduled. Most of the area remained under evacuation orders Friday as the Donnell Fire continued to grow.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are fighting the fire and those who have lost family cabins and businesses,” a press release from the Board of the Sportsman's said.

The Pinecrest Run, scheduled for Sunday, has been postponed until Sept. 2. The annual five-mile race and one-mile fun run will raise money for the reopening of an elementary school in Pinecrest. It is the oldest footrace in Tuolumne County.

Also, Sierra Pacific Industries has closed its forestlands until wildfire conditions improve. That encompasses some 1.8 million acres in northern California and Washington.

“SPI takes pride in allowing non-motorized public access for hunting and other recreational values but must take this action to protect resources and public safety,” a news release from the company said. “This follows similar announcements by other industrial timberland owners throughout the western United States.”

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