A nearby fire continues to rage today and a smoke advisory remains in affect here in our Morongo Basin. Over 2,200 firefighters continue to battle the Mountain fire that started just west of Highway 243 near Mountain Center Monday afternoon. As of this morning, the U.S. Forest Service says the fire has burned approximately 14,200 acres and is only 10 percent contained. They characterize the growth potential through the timber and chaparral as “extreme.” So far, 23 structures and six vehicles have been damaged and destroyed in the Pine Springs Ranch, Bonita Vista, and Keenwild areas as well. Mandatory evacuations are in place for residents in the Andreas Canyon Club area in south Palm Springs, as well as Apple Canyon, Fleming Ranch, Bonita Vista, Pine Springs Ranch, and Camp Ronald McDonald. The Pacific Crest Trail is closed from State Highway 74 to Saddle Junction. All trails are also closed in that area. The cause of the fire is under investigation. A smoke advisory for Yucca Valley, Morongo Valley and surrounding communities remains in affect. If you see or smell smoke in the air where you are, be cautious and use common sense to protect your family’s health. Everyone—especially people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children—should limit time spent outdoors and avoid outdoor exercise when smoke is in the area. Levels of smoke and particles will depend on changes in winds and the containment of the fire. The smoke advisory will be in effect as long as conditions warrant.