Dense smoke from Mosquito Fire expected to return to Truckee-Tahoe

The Mosquito Fire from a flight from Sacramento to Tulsa.
Mosquito Fire emergency shelter moves to Sierra College; other resources continue to be available to Placer residents

An emergency shelter for Mosquito Fire evacuees opens at 10 a.m. Saturday at Sierra College in Rocklin, and the former shelter site at the Bell Road Baptist Church in Auburn has closed.

Residents under mandatory evacuation due to the Mosquito Fire can access the shelter, operated by the American Red Cross, at: Sierra College, 5100 Sierra College Blvd, Rocklin (enter on Rocklin Road), Parking will be in Lot B, Shelter will be in the cafeteria (building J) The RV/Trailer Temporary Evacuation Point Parking at the Auburn Regional Park Gym (3770 Richardson Drive, Auburn) also remains operational for parking, bathrooms and shower access only (no hookups or sleeping spaces). As the fire has progressed, more than 60 residents have taken shelter each day inside the emergency shelter operated by the American Red Cross. The American Red Cross accepts online donations here. After reaching capacity at the Animal Services Center in Auburn, evacuated animals should now be taken to the Nevada County Fairgrounds: Nevada County Fairgrounds – small and large animals 11228 McCourtney Road, Grass Valley Enter through gate 8 for check in; drop-off only (no camping) *No chickens/poultry due to avian flu. Between the two locations, more than 350 evacuated animals from dogs and cats to horses and goats are currently being cared for by dedicated teams of staff and volunteers. Additional community resources can be accessed by calling 211 (or 1-833-342-5211 for Placer residents outside of the county). For those looking to help, donation information is available on the Ready Placer dashboard.

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The smoke that blanketed Lake Tahoe Friday morning let up in the afternoon into the evening, but weather officials are expecting more dense smoke to return Saturday afternoon as the Mosquito Fire continues to rage west of the basin.

The National Weather Service in Reno said on Saturday that, “Smoke impacts will persist today with the main air quality hazards emanating from the Mosquito Fire on the west slopes of the Sierra across Placer and El Dorado counties. These main impacts will once again spread across the Tahoe Basin as fire activity picks up during the afternoon. Current simulations indicate another push of denser smoke into the Tahoe Basin around 2-3 pm this afternoon.”

Fire officials on Saturday morning said the blaze was less active overnight Friday than previous nights and cooler, more humid weather conditions on Saturday should reduce fire behavior somewhat, but vegetation remains critically dry and will burn readily.  

The Mosquito Fire was reported on Tuesday evening and is burning brush and timber in steep, rugged terrain near Oxbow Reservoir, 4 miles east of Foresthill. The blaze moved into El Dorado County and as of the last update on Friday afternoon has burned 29,585 acres, a growth of more than 20,000 acres in the past two days.

The Eldorado and Tahoe national forests have issued orders to prohibit anyone from entering the fire area and have closed roads and trails.

Tahoe National Forest closure.
Eldorado National Forest closure.

El Dorado and Placer counties have issued smoke advisories recommending that residents with chronic health conditions, young children, pregnant women and elderly adults should be especially aware and take protective measures.

Protective measures include, minimizing outdoor activities, stay indoors with windows and doors closed, do not run fans that bring smoky air inside (such as swamp coolers, fresh air ventilation systems), If you have a wall unit air conditioner, or when in a vehicle, set AC to recirculate and do not smoke, fry food or do other activities that will create indoor air pollution.

If experiencing a health emergency, call 911.

As of Saturday morning, air quality was mostly in the unhealthy range in South Lake Tahoe and incline Village and in the moderate range on the west and east shores and in the Truckee area, according to

For more information on wildfire smoke, visit:

Evacuation orders and evacuation warnings issued by the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office include the communities of Volcanoville, Georgetown, Bottle Hill, Stumpy Meadows, Slate Mountain, and Cool. Placer County Sheriff’s Office also issued evacuation orders and evacuation warnings for the communities of Michigan Bluff, Baker Ranch, Crystal View Road and Bath Road, Foresthill, Todd Valley, Sky View Spring Garden, and Yankee Jims.

In Placer County, evacuation orders are in effect for Zone 1 — Michigan Bluff, Gorman Ranch, Chicken Hawk and Ridge View roads; Zone 2 — Baker Ranch, mobile home park; Zone 3 — Crystal View and Bath roads; Zone 4 — Foresthill Road from Idlewild Road to Bath Road, Powerline Road, Timberland Road and Sluice Box Lane; Zone 5 — Black Oak Ridge, Ebberts Ranch, Old Ebberts Ranch roads and Blackhawk Lane; Zone 6 — Finning Mill Road to Sugar Pine Road to Elliot Ranch Road to Foresthill Road, Big Reservoir, Giant Gap, Hollow Log and Prospect Roads.

According to the last incident report Friday afternoon, there are approximately 1,700 personnel assigned to the incident. The priority for firefighting personnel is to provide life safety and structure protection. Additionally, the construction of direct and indirect containment lines utilizing handcrews and bulldozers is a significant objective.

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