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Smoke from Happy Camp Complex settles into Rogue Valley

Strong winds coming from the south are blowing smoke from the Happy Camp Complex fires into the Rogue Valley.

The winds and dry conditions have prompted the National Weather Service to extend a red flag warning of extreme fire danger until 11 p.m. today.

Gusts of 15 mph and low humidity make a bad combination for crews fighting the Happy Camp Complex fires in Siskiyou County and the 790 fire south of Prospect. Smoke from the 790 fire is blowing north, however, said senior meteorologist Tom Wright.

Today's 95-degree heat is mixing the air, bringing the smoke from aloft closer to the valley floor, Wright said. He said the smoke likely will lift tonight once temperatures cool. The forecast for tomorrow calls for cooler temperatures and calmer winds, and therefore less smoke for Rogue Valley residents, he said.

The slight cooling trend is expected through Tuesday.

The Happy Camp Complex fires have grown to 88,546 acres total and have cost $51.5 million to fight so far, according to U.S. Forest Service. The fires are about 25 percent contained. 

About 10 miles south of Prospect, the 790 fire burning in the Sky Lakes Wilderness is at 2,312 acres and 48 percent contained, according to fire officials. 

— Cathy Noah