Mosquito fire surpasses 63,000 acres to become largest blaze in California this year as temperatures soar
A wildfire from the Sonoma County fires has now burned nearly 63,000 acres as of Monday afternoon — making it the largest wildfire in California history this year, a spokesperson for California Governor Gavin Newsom confirmed.
There were two wildfires burning Monday — one in the Russian River Valley and the other in the northern Los Padres National Forest — that burned a combined 43,500 acres Monday night.
Gov. Newsom ordered a state of emergency for the two fires, and California state fire officials said they are working to get ahead of the wildfires and keep the public safe.
“The fire is not yet out, we are still trying to build an estimate of what size it is,” Cal Fire spokesperson Scott McLean told the Los Angeles Times.
Authorities warned residents to remain vigilant and be ready to fight a fire, in the event they need to evacuate. Fire Chief Ken Pimlott said residents should prepare for three to four days of flames in the Russian River Valley area.
Pimlott also said fire officials are preparing for fires burning throughout the state, as hot, dry weather continues across the Golden State and across large parts of the nation. The governor has declared a disaster in three counties for Monday’s fires.
Pimlott said the fires are burning “somewhere between the 100,000 to 125,000 acre range,” adding that this is expected to grow and that firefighters won’t know until Thursday — roughly three days into the blaze — whether it is going to burn out.
“The weather will dictate where the fire will be,” Pimlott said.
The most recent forecast from Cal Fire on Monday showed the fire growing from about 1,000 acres to about 2,500 acres, in the first day of the fire. That means it will be the largest fire in state history, the spokesperson added.
A wildfire on Monday spread through much of the Russian River Valley area, where the fire grew to more than 1,100 acres near a high school, before it was contained.
By early Monday afternoon, the Russian River High School was