The Mosquito Fire grew by almost 20,000 acres in 24 hours, crossing into El Dorado County and sending heavy smoke over the Lake Tahoe area.
Though the official report Friday morning by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection had the acreage at 14,250, the latest perimeter map indicated the area was near 25,000 acres (38½ square miles) and the Placer County sheriff’s office confirmed that figure in a tweet.
The fire started Tuesday afternoon on the Middle Fork of the American River and has prompted mandatory evacuations in 275 square miles of Placer and El Dorado counties, including the communities of Foresthill, Todd Valley, Michigan Bluff, Volcanoville, Georgetown, Buckeye and Quintette.
Amid record high temperatures and critically low fuel moisture levels, the fire has grown rapidly and “exhibited extreme behavior,” Cal Fire said. During barely two hours in the hottest part of Wednesday, it grew 2,000 acres, more than doubling its size. It doubled again from Thursday morning (6,807 acres) to that evening (13,704).
The Placer County sheriff’s office said more than 1,000 structures were threatened and some were known to have been destroyed in Michigan Bluff.
The map above shows evacuation areas in pink. The evacuation center is Bell Road Baptist Church, 707 Bell Road, in Auburn.