Mosquito fire surpasses 63,000 acres to become largest blaze in California this year
January 07, 2015
For the first time in two decades, California’s largest wildfire has exceeded 63,000 acres, said officials with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
The blaze, which began the night of January 2, has scorched more than 1,100 square miles, surpassing the record-setter, the 2004 fire that burned more than 60,000 acres.
The blaze, along with numerous others in Northern California, has forced about 11,000 residents to flee their homes.
“The intensity and duration of this fire is unprecedented,” said California Governor Jerry Brown.
Officials said the fire had burned through 3,420 acres of timber, destroyed 16 homes and caused $1.5 million in damage in Ventura County.
The Northern California fire season, which usually runs from June to November, has already been dry this year, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. While the season is typically four months long, the fire season usually runs from late July to November.
“I would like to thank all my fellow neighbors for their support as we work to contain this fire,” said Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen.
The fire began near the Black Rock Desert, a relatively isolated area of the state. It was detected on the morning of January 2, and quickly grew to more than 4,600 acres at about 6 a.m. that day.
The fire did not spread due to “a combination of favorable weather conditions, low winds and limited vegetation growth,” according to a news release from Cal Fire.
A total of eight fires have been ignited in the past two months in Ventura County.
The largest, the California fire, broke out on Wednesday at 9:03 a.m. and grew to more than 4,150 acres by 11 a.m., officials said.
Officials urged residents to remain vigilant and report fires to fire officials in order to minimize the chances of a