Posted Monday, September 2, 2013 at 3:35am

Kayaker saw wisp of what would become Rim fire

Two weeks ago, Noah Hughes and a buddy were kayaking down the Tuolumne River from Meral’s Pool in the Tuolumne Canyon when he noticed a small plume of smoke.

Hughes, an instructor of oceanography and meteorology at Modesto Junior College, had no way of knowing that he was seeing the start of the Rim fire, which would grow to 222,777 acres as of Saturday afternoon. The fire now stands fourth on the list of biggest wildfires in California history.

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