Mosquito Fire spreads north as blaze forces 11,000 to evacuate in California

Sept. 11, 8:20 a.m.

The Mosquito Fire has now consumed 41,443 acres, Cal Fire said in its Sunday morning update. Crews did, however, claw up to 10% containment; last night, they had no containment. Most of that containment is occurring on the fire’s southern edge. On Saturday, “cooler temperatures and higher humidity” helped fire crews put down bulldozer and hand lines. There are also control lines from previous blazes in the area that are serving as fire breaks. 

The fire continues to push toward the north and northeast.

“An increase in winds has continued the fire’s spread to the north and northeast,” Cal Fire said. “Firefighters have been working diligently to build control lines along the area of Foresthill Road and out in front of the head of the fire toward the north and northeast… A large amount of resources have been working to hold the fire at Volcano Road as well as north of Quintette.”

Over 5,800 homes and structures are threatened, and 11,000 people are under evacuation orders. The fire started on the evening of Sept. 6 and its cause is under investigation.

Monster Mosquito Fire clouds leave fire scientists in awe

Sept. 11, 7:45 a.m.

Scientists took to the skies to observe the enormous, 40,000-foot-tall pyrocumulus clouds emitted by the Mosquito Fire, and one spoke with SFGATE about the phenomenon.

“It really hit everybody in the plane pretty hard just how massive and destructive the fire was,” said Alan Brewer, a scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “It was like flying right alongside the wall of the Grand Canyon.”

Researchers with NOAA, San Jose State and the University of Nevada conducted research on the massive fire cloud emitted by California's Mosquito Fire on Sept. 8, 2022.

Researchers with NOAA, San Jose State and the University of Nevada conducted research on the massive fire cloud emitted by California’s Mosquito Fire on Sept. 8, 2022.

NOAA

Researchers are attempting to learn more about California’s destructive wildfires by doing aerial observations. Read the full story here.

Mosquito Fire spreads north as winds pick up

Sept. 11, 6:50 a.m.

Troublesome winds pushed the Mosquito Fire north and northeast, driving the enormous California wildfire closer to the communities around Foresthill.

According to a late-night update from Cal Fire, crews are “working to hold the fire at Volcano Road as well as north of Quintette.”

“Firefighters have been working diligently to build control lines along the area of Foresthill Road and out in front of the head of the fire toward the north and northeast,” the update said. “A spot fire in the area of Chicken Hawk occurred yesterday and firefighters were able to contain that fire with the help of dozers and aircraft [Saturday].”

Saturday did see an easing of the region’s high temperatures and low humidity, allowing crews to get a better handle on the southern part of the fire. Bulldozer lines were established there, and lines laid down in previous Tahoe National Forest fires also helped crews make gains against the blaze. As of its last mapping on Saturday evening, the fire has burned 37,326 acres. There is no containment.

New evacuation orders and warnings for Placer County

Sept. 10, 6:45 p.m.

New evacuation orders and warnings have been issued by the Placer County Sheriff’s Office. The latest evacuation orders, announced Saturday evening, apply to Zones 21 and 22. Evacuation warnings were also issued for Zones 23 and 25. See the latest warnings and orders here.

As of Saturday, 11,117 people have evacuated from areas in Placer and El Dorado counties that are threatened by the Mosquito Fire. Crews made progress Friday by constructing a containment line on the fire’s northwest side, and fire growth slowed overnight as temperatures dropped and humidity rose. 

However, higher winds from an approaching low-pressure system is expected to fan the fire and increase fire activity on Saturday, according to an update released by Cal Fire’s Nevada-Yuba-Placer and Amador-El Dorado units, Tahoe and El Dorado National Forests and the Placer County Sheriff’s Office. 

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