Smoke may push into Truckee-Tahoe region; Mosquito Fire acreage, structures lost increase

Staff Report
The charred remnants of people’s belongings can be seen off Volcanoville Road in El Dorado County.
Elias Funez/the Union

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The skies are blue, the sun is shining and air quality Wednesday morning is good at Lake Tahoe.

But the National Weather Service says smoke from the Mosquito Fire may again push into the region Wednesday afternoon leading to bad air quality.

“As we have come to expect, another wave of smoke is forecast to push into the region this afternoon and evening with the latest smoke modeling concentrating the densest smoke plume for this afternoon across the Tahoe Basin into eastern Sierra/Nevada counties and through Reno/Sparks/North Valleys,” the service said Wednesday morning.

The service is calling for sunny to mostly sunny on Wednesday and Thursday with highs in the low 70s with winds in the 5-15 mph range.

A chance of snow also entered the forecast with a possible cold front entering the region this weekend with possible showers Sunday into Monday. Snow levels will be in the 8,000-8,500 feet range.

Cal Fire said as of Wednesday morning the Mosquito Fire, burning 4 miles east of Foresthill and north of Oxbow Reservoir predominantly on the Tahoe and Eldorado national forests in Placer and El Dorado counties, has consumed 58,544 acres and is 20% contained. Sixty-four total structures have been destroyed with 10 more damaged and about 6,000 are still threatened. Total personnel battling the blaze is 3,052. The cause is under investigation.

Mosquito Fire map.
Provided/Cal Fire

According to the status report Wednesday morning, the fire was active Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, particularly on the northeast side. 

Night-shift crews completed firing operations on the north side from Forks House Trailhead to the Deadwood Road. On the west side, south of Foresthill where the fire spotted over the Middle Fork of the American River Tuesday afternoon, fire activity did moderate overnight. The mission-critical priority for firefighters Wednesday is the west side of the fire; they will focus on protecting structures in the Foresthill and Todd Valley areas and increasing containment of the fireline to prevent further westward and northward spread. 

The southeast corner is also a priority as crews strive to halt the fire’s progression toward Stumpy Meadows. Numerous aircraft are supporting ground crews, conducting water and retardant drops during both day and night shifts. 

Evacuation orders in Placer County may be found here.

Evacuation orders for El Dorado County may be found here.

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.