Fire in Tahoe National Forest threatens ‘critical infrastructure’

Wildfires rising rapidly through tinder-dry vegetation in the Sierra Nevada Range near the town of Foresthill rose another 1,100 acres overnight and continue to threaten many communities, vital infrastructure and hundreds of homes, the Cal Fire. Told Thursday morning.

The Mosquito fire shows no sign of slowing down and by sunrise a massive smoke cloud had already ejected over Placer County, indicating extreme fire activity on the ground.

Cal Fire said it threatened “critical infrastructure” including the Placer County Water Agency pump station and dam, the Placer County Fire Repeater Site, the 230 kV transmission line, the Sugar Pine Dam and community drinking water supply, the Ralston Hydroelectric Powerhouse and cellular and microwave transmission towers. Is. ,

multiple reports and Post pictures on social media Wednesday evening indicated that flames consumed some homes, structures and cars in Michigan Bluff, a historic Gold Rush town about 7 miles east of Foresthill overlooking the north and central forks of the American River.

Cal Fire spokesman Chris Vestal said the agency had received reports of burned structures in Michigan Bluff, but said he could not comment on the number of structures destroyed. He said the damage assessment is at the ground level and more information will be available at the earliest.

Vestal also said that the flames had not pushed up Forresthill proper and that Forresthill was still a few miles from downtown.

A fire broke out in Tahoe National Forest at 6:27 p.m. Tuesday near Oxbow Reservoir, 3 miles east of Foresthill, amid a record-breaking heat wave in California that sent temperatures above 100 degrees for several days. Hundreds of people were forced to flee their homes and arrangements for evacuation are in place on Thursday morning. (The live evacuation map is the best source for updated evacuation information.) The fire is burning through vegetation that was very flammable and highly flammable after days of scorching weather. The burned area has gone up from 5,705 acres on Wednesday night to 6,870 acres on Thursday morning.

Brent Wachter, a fire meteorologist at the US Forest Service’s Geographic Coordination Center in Redding, said the extreme dryness of the landscape was evident in the overnight hours following the fire. Fires often subside after sunset when the winds subside and temperatures drop, but the Mosquito fire kept burning—and so did Wednesday night.

“Fuels like this are flammable. Fires are actively increasing overnight as well,” Wachter told SFGATE on Wednesday.

Smoke from the fire spread across the Sierra foothills and flooded the basin of Lake Tahoe. Placer County Health Department issued An Air Quality Advisory warning of unhealthy air through Friday.

Vestal said conditions similar to Wednesday were expected with severe fire behavior and escalation on Thursday.

“Due to the terrain and the conditions, it is really difficult to put up the Lines of Control,” he said.

This is a developing story, and details will be added as they become available.

People watch from a distance as a mosquito fire burns near Michigan Bluff in unincorporated Placer County, California, on Wednesday.

AP. via Stephen Lamm / San Francisco Chronicle

A flag flies behind a building scorched by mosquito fires along Michigan Bluff Road in unincorporated Placer County, California, on Wednesday.

A flag flies behind a building scorched by mosquito fires along Michigan Bluff Road in unincorporated Placer County, California, on Wednesday.

Noah Berger/AP

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