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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Smoke significant on 24 July days









July may have ended Thursday with sunny, reasonably blue skies. But for much of the month, the far northern Sacramento Valley and surrounding mountains endured a stinking, eye-stinging, lung-searing smoke shroud that felt downright post-apocalyptic.

The Redding Municipal Airport reported significant smoke or haze on 24 days last month, thanks to freak thunderstorms that ignited north state forests June 21. At times, the forest fire smoke was as thick as fog, cutting visibility at the airport to a half-mile, National Weather Service figures show.

This noxious sooty brew often turned the sun blood red and spiked pollution to unhealthy levels 19 days in July.

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