Mosquito Fire: Thousands Flee Dangerous Blaze Burning Across Thousands of Acres in California

by Shelby Scott

Hurricane season has only just begun along the Gulf Coast and near surrounding areas in the Southeast U.S. However, wildfire season remains in full swing out west and the recently broken-out Mosquito Fire has put thousands of California residents in danger. With the 33,000-acre wildfire rapidly burning across areas of CA, thousands of residents remain on high alert. And many others have had to flee their homes.

According to the Los Angeles Times, it was unclear on Friday how many people had been forced to evacuate ahead of the Mosquito Fire. Meanwhile, others continue to wait to see whether they’ll have to do the same.

Per the outlet, the Mosquito Fire, another in a string of already dangerous wildfires that have ignited this season, broke out on Tuesday. Igniting near Foresthill, the blaze rapidly grew to 30,000 acres by Friday. Other outlets report that by Saturday, the fire had grown by another couple thousand acres. Authorities reported zero containment as of 5:42 p.m. local time on Friday.

Speaking that same day, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said, “The fire spread significantly overnight due to extreme fire behavior, and heavy smoke limited visibility.”

As of now, there are 1,700 firefighters battling the Mosquito Fire.

Amid all the doom and gloom, however, wildfire experts did report some good news Friday afternoon. Hot temperatures and arid conditions have created extremely favorable conditions for the Mosquito Fire recently. However, Robert Scott, a fire behavior analyst, reported humidity had increased to 20%, winds were at just 3 miles per hour, and the temperature sat at 88 degrees Fahrenheit. That compares to earlier conditions of 15% humidity, 6-mile-per-hour winds, and 95-degree heat.

Evacuations Centers Opening For Residents Fleeing Mosquito Fire

Despite recently-favorable conditions, wildfire experts don’t expect firefighters to be able to put out the blaze for several more weeks. Given its rapid growth and the ongoing drought plaguing the West, Chris Vestal, the public information officer assigned to the Mosquito Fire, expects the blaze to burn through at least mid-October. As such, he said the number one priority at the moment is to get residents evacuated safely.

So far, CA Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency for El Dorado and Placer counties. Evacuation centers for fleeing residents have been set up in Auburn and other nearby towns. However, many evacuated citizens have chosen not to go because they’re traveling with pets. Those who have chosen not to temporarily shelter in evacuation centers on account of their furry family members have instead resorted to sleeping in their cars in various parking lots.

Of the fire itself, Vastel said, “It’s very hot. It’s dry, and it’s burning into areas where there are people. The No. 1 priority is to get people out of their homes and out of the area.”