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Rep. Ruiz: Cal Fire to send crews to fight Martinez Fire

UPDATE: News Channel Three has learned that Cal Fire crews will respond to the Martinez Fire, sending equipment and personnel to support crews already battling the blaze.

We received the information from the office of valley U.S. Representative Raul Ruiz.

The written statement from the Congressman’s office reads, in part:

“Congressman Ruiz announces, after many calls to multiple agencies, US Forest Service and CalFire answered the call to assist BIA with equipment and personnel. There is optimism the fire/smoke will be resolved by Sunday evening,”

We are also told Ruiz will visit the site of the fire Sunday at 12:00 noon.

INITIAL REPORT:

A smoke advisory issued in the Coachella Valley due to a mulch fire burning near Thermal has been extended.

The smoke from the Martinez Fire burning on tribe land near Thermal may reach unhealthy for sensitive groups or higher in areas directly impacted by smoke, the South Coast AQMD announced. The advisory is now in effect through Thursday Afternoon.

The Martinez Fire is burning 32 acres on the intersection of Avenue 66 and Martinez Road near Thermal. The last update has containment at 0%.

The fire is burning by the Sun Valley Recycling Center within the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians reservation. That recycling facility has been the site of several hazardous mulch fires in recent months and was issued a Cease and Desist order by the Bureau of Indian Affairs Wednesday morning.

Read: Thermal dumping site shut down due to public health hazard

The fire continues to produce heavy smoke, affecting residents of the east valley.

“If the fire continues to generate smoke, impacts are expected to continue throughout the Coachella Valley,” writes South Coast AQMD.

According to News Channel 3’s Chief Meteorologist Haley Clawson, air quality in the east valley at this time remains moderate. The air quality can still pose a risk for sensetive groups, so for those people, if you smell smoke or see ash, it’s best to stay indoors.

Winds are expected to stay nice and light throughout the evening, however, they will strengthen on Thursday.

KESQ 2019

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KESQ News Team

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