Containment of Lake County's Jerusalem Fire expected by Friday

The Jerusalem fire was at 85 percent containment on Sunday night after burning more than 25,000 acres, providing good news to beleaguered Lake County residents who have endured more than two weeks of rapidly spreading wildfires.

Cal Fire said it expected to contain the fire, which has destroyed six homes and 21 outbuildings and spread into Napa County, by Friday. The blaze also forced the evacuation of more than 150 residents, the last of whom were allowed to go back home on Saturday.

The Jerusalem blaze - named for the Jerusalem Valley where it began - last week merged with the larger Rocky Fire, which burned almost 70,000 acres before it was fully contained on Thursday, Cal Fire said.

Even while the Lake County fires are winding down, the North Coast’s air quality will continue to be hampered by smoke drifting in from elsewhere, officials said.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued its fourth Spare the Air Alert of the year for today, citing smoke from wildfires far north of the Bay Area.

The alert says air pollution is forecast to reach unhealthy levels that can cause throat irritation and congestion, as well as worsen bronchitis and emphysema. Seniors and young children are especially at risk, and outdoor exercise is recommended only in the early morning hours.

The warning came as Santa Rosa reached a record high on Sunday with a temperature of 104 degrees, according to AccuWeather. The average high for the date is 83 degrees. Windsor was the hottest city in Sonoma County with a recorded high of 108 degrees.

Cooler weather is expected this week, beginning with a high of 92 degrees forecast for today.

Bill Swindell

Business, Beer and Wine, The Press Democrat  

In the North Coast, we are surrounded by hundreds of wineries along with some of the best breweries, cidermakers and distillers. These industries produce an abundance of drinks as well as good stories – and those are what I’m interested in writing. I also keep my eye on our growing cannabis industry and other agricultural crops, which have provided the backbone for our food-and-wine culture for generations.

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