As of Wednesday night, the Mosquito Fire had spread over 63,000 acres, making it the largest wildfire to break out in California this year. Dried vegetation fueled the fire in an area that was beginning to cool off after experiencing record-breaking heat the previous week.
Since it first broke out on September 6, the massive fire has been going strong for more than a week now. Since Tuesday, it has spread over a total of 14,000 acres. According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the fire has spread across more than 63,000 acres in El Dorado and Placer counties as of Wednesday night (Cal Fire).
Cal Fire reported that even though the blaze subsided over the weekend, strong winds on Tuesday night cleared the air of smoke and provided fresh oxygen for the fire to continue its destructive behavior. The percentage of the outbreak that was contained fell from 25% on Tuesday to 20% on Wednesday.
As the winds push the fire into more fuel that is critically dry, the behavior of the fire on the east end is expected to worsen.
During a briefing held by the United States Forest Service on Wednesday, a fire behavior analyst working for Cal Fire named Jonathan Pangburn said, “We’re ready for an absolute blowup out here.” It is not necessary for there to be a great deal of wind.
This year, the McKinney fire was surpassed in size by the Mosquito fire, which is now the largest wildfire in California. The McKinney fire, which is currently 99% contained, has scorched over 60,000 acres in Siskiyou County and is almost completely out.