Mosquito fire surpasses 63,000 acres to become largest blaze in California this year
A massive wildfire in the foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada reached its sixth day on Tuesday, covering 5,650 square miles of land, officials said.
The fire, dubbed the Cedar Fire, has caused an estimated $5.7 million in damage, including to two major power lines, a hospital and 17 houses.
The fire, which is still burning out of control, was reported at 9:31 a.m. as a spot fire of about 200 acres that had burned for days near the town of Shoshone, which has about 450 residents.
“At this time, it is under containment,” Doug Palmer, a fire spokesman, said at a news conference. “This is what we call a ‘hot spot.’ There has not been a single case of significant threat until yesterday.”
Palmer said the fire was caused by lightning, but there was no immediate sign of lightning strikes. He said at least one of the four power lines had been damaged.
“The power lines are down and we have to go back and get them out, but that is something we are working on right now,” said Palmer. “At this time, the fire is under containment but is still present.”
Palmer said firefighters were trying to burn off the fire to keep it from spreading. “We are not going to allow this fire to burn over everything we are trying to do.”
Palmer said they were looking at everything from building to building on the fire’s east side as they tried to bring it under control. “You can call it a contained fire or a wildfire; there’s really no way to tell the difference.”
The blaze was one of four which raged in California. Another was the Cedar Fire near Yosemite National Park, which is burning in the mountains in the eastern Sierra Nevada range, and is being fought by about 8,000 firefighters.
Officials said the other fires were smaller than the Cedar Fire. But by Tuesday they were also fighting some of