As of Saturday afternoon, the Mosquito Fire has burned 33,754 acres — with still 0% of the blaze contained and now threatens 3,666 structures — which makes it the largest fire currently burning in the state.*
Since starting Tuesday night around 6 p.m., the Mosquito Fire has swelled and caused nearby counties to haze with thick smoke. The blaze has proven particularly hard to contain — the rural terrain, elevation, heat and drought conditions, and strong winds — which helped it explode in size overnight due to "extreme fire behavior and heavy smoke limited visibility."
#MosquitoFire near Oxbow Reservoir, east of Forest Hill in Placer County is 33,754 acres. In Unified Command with @CALFIRENEU, @Tahoe_NF, @PlacerSheriff, and Foresthill Fire Protection District.https://t.co/Gb4QZa8XVJ pic.twitter.com/yoq788C3ej— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) September 10, 2022
"The fire spread significantly overnight due to extreme fire behavior and heavy smoke limited visibility," CAL FIRE said in a morning update about the Placer County fire. "The fire made uphill runs with short-range spotting."
On Thursday, the large wildfire was recorded at around 14,000 acres in size; it then doubled in size over the course of 24 hours; now, the Mosquito Fire has grown to nearly 34,000 acres.
Before the Mosquito Fire, the Fairview Fire in Riverside was the largest active wildfire; it has burned 19,244 acres as of Saturday with now 40% of the blaze contained. The largest fire of the season to date is the McKinney Fire, which burned through late July and much of August near the Klamath River in far northern California, and scorched a total of 60,000 acres.
As of publishing, the Placer County Sheriff's Office has put in place mandatory evacuations for eleven zones. A significant portion of areas in the Slate Mountains and Peavine Ridge were given evacuation warnings today.
However, as noted by the Chronicle, some residents of Georgetown, which is ten miles east of Auburn on Highway 193 where the fire is burning, have chosen to stay put. Finding hope in Friday's blue skies that contrasted the prior day’s haze — “[Thursday], [the smoke] was so thick you could cut it with a knife" — Randy Erwin, who works at Georgetown’s Gas and Go, is among other residents who aren't ready to leave their homes just yet.
A CAL FIRE representative told KCRA 3 on Saturday that they're hopeful a dip in temperatures will give on-site fire crews the chance they need to make progress on containment.
The Mosquito Fire is currently at 33,754 acres and 0% contained. The fire is burning three miles east of Foresthill and continues to threaten numerous structures and power lines.— Placer Sheriff (@PlacerSheriff) September 10, 2022
For the latest evacuation updates, visit our live map: https://t.co/dHDEGTX3Am pic.twitter.com/VrnP9vG4DU
Presently, there are 1,700 people assigned to the Mosquito Fire; the first priority at the moment is for firefighting personnel to protect lives and offer structure protection for the community. Per Saturday morning's update, CAL FIRE intends to create direct and indirect containment lines utilizing "hand crews and bulldozers is a significant objective."
The cause of the Mosquito Fire remains under active investigation
In Mendocino County, the Walker Fire reached 97% containment as of Saturday — which burned 124 acres east of Highway 101 near Walker Road — after having started September 1.
Both the Mill Fire and Mountain Fire burning in Siskiyou County have also seen significant increases in containment; the wildfires are now 85% and 60% contained, respectively.
To stay current with the Mosquito Fire, visit www.fire.ca.gov/incidents/2022/9/6/mosquito-fire and scroll down to the "Status Update" section.
Photo: Courtesy of Twitter via @CAL_FIRE
*This post has been corrected to show that the McKinney Fire, not the Mosquito Fire, was the largest fire of the season to date, but the Mosquito Fire is the largest one currently burning.