Wildfire on the Kern Plateau producing heavy smoke

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KERNVILLE, Calif. (KGET) — A fire ignited by a lightning strike last week on the Kern Plateau is producing heavy smoke as it consumes dead trees in the area of the 2002 McNally Fire, but its impact is expected to remain low, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Smoke from the Schaeffer Fire, discovered Sept. 8 and estimated at 134 acres, is drifting east into Kennedy Meadows and Owens Valley, a Forest Service release said.

“The fire is burning at a low rate of spread with only moderate fire behavior,” Incident Commander Daniel Wild said in the release. “Smoke from the fire is dispersed before reaching sensitive areas so impacts should remain minimal.”

There are no road or trail closures, but signs warning of fire operations have been posted at several trailheads.

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