Mosquito fire surpasses 63,000 acres to become largest blaze in California this year
By Sarah Lazin
10/12/12 08:00 AM EDT
A fire that burned 43,000 acres on Tuesday near Monterey became the largest wildfire in California history, surpassing the previous record of more than 58,000 acres set in 2015 by the Camp fire and the Woolsey fire.
The blaze, which began Oct. 9 in Redding and has since jumped the Sacramento River and burned more than 60,000 acres, as of Wednesday morning, was only 1 percent contained.
The fire was reported to be 10-percent contained as of Wednesday morning and is on the edge of destroying hundreds of homes, with a containment line of only 9 percent, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Officials have asked all residents in Redding to be on the lookout for potential hot spots and to prepare for a potential evacuation in the area. Officials are also recommending that residents in the surrounding area evacuate before the fire reaches their area.
The Woolsey fire, which started Oct. 12 and burned more than 55,000 acres on the northern end of the state’s central coast, was the most destructive wildfire in California history, destroying an estimated 5,400 homes, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Officials reported Wednesday morning that the fire had grown to 63,000 acres with 10-percent containment.
The latest figures showed that the total acreage burned this year by wildfires jumped to more than 1 million acres, surpassing last year’s record of nearly 975,000 acres set in California by the Camp and Woolsey fires.
So far, this year the state has already seen more than 100 wildfires. The state hasn’t seen this many fires on record since the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989.
“(Wildfires) are very damaging and very destructive,” Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott said in a press conference Wednesday. “One of the reasons we have these so many is we burn a lot of fuels.”
Wildfires have wreaked havoc on the state’s infrastructure and destroyed countless homes. The Camp fire damaged or destroyed more than 7,900 homes and killed at least 86 people.