Mosquito fire surpasses 63,000 acres to become largest blaze in California this year
This image provided by NASA shows an infrared view of the Sierra Peak Fire in Big Bear Lake, Calif., on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2017, after it had burned 60,000 acres. (AP Photo/NASA, Jim Urquhart) less This image provided by NASA shows an infrared view of the Sierra Peak Fire in Big Bear Lake, Calif., on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2017, after it had burned 60,000… more Photo: Jim Urquhart/AP Photo: Jim Urquhart/AP Image 1 of / 1 Caption Close Mosquito fire surpasses 63,000 acres to become largest blaze in California this year 1 / 1 Back to Gallery
A wildfire that ravaged the Sierra high-country mountains in Northern California last week has turned into a massive blaze that now outstrips the previous largest blaze on record in the state.
The Sierra Peak Fire, which is burning near Big Bear and El Portal, has jumped to more than 63,000 acres. The previous largest wildfire in California was the San Joaquin Complex fire in 2010, which burned about 43,000 acres.
It is not yet known how the fire will be contained, but public information officer Tom Vinger said that a team of experts are preparing a strategy for this weekend.
Vinger said that firefighters have been keeping an eye on the wildfire as it crept down the slopes of the Sierra near the town of Paradise.
The fire was moving slowly but steadily down hill at the time, but officials said that firefighting resources were being stretched to their limits.
“This is the most active fire that we’ve seen. We’re monitoring the fuel situation, as you can see the fire has moved down there. We’re seeing some very significant growth,” Vinger said.
Vinger said the fire was 10 percent contained as of about 7 p.m. Friday, with firefighters battling the blaze in five different areas, but was still putting out hot spots.
“We are getting really close to the peak,” he said.
The fire’s cause remains under investigation, but as of Thursday, officials were trying to determine