The Mosquito Fire in Northern California has flared up in the past 24 hours and is headed toward a mountain community, dangerously approaching a high school. This has prompted the evacuation of over 11,000 people in the Sierra Nevada area, CNN reports. To date, it has burned 46 structures, including homes, and has grown to approximately 50,000 acres. Firefighters have been able to contain 25 percent of it.
The fire began on Sept. 6 west of Lake Tahoe and is currently the largest active fire in California, active in the El Dorado and Placer counties. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, there are 93 large fires across the Western U.S., most being in Idaho, Montana, and the Pacific Northwest. In Oregon, the Cedar Creek fire is also on a rampage, quadrupling in size, as reported by CNN. These fires come amid a troubling drought and heatwave in California.
The air quality across much of the burning regions is classified as unhealthy and unsafe. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have warned about taking precautions and avoiding being outside.
Cal Fire Operations Section Chief Landon Haack said during a briefing, "They've got a pretty significant firefight going on out there right now as we speak. They're trying really hard to hold that fire in that box right there."