Mosquito fire surpasses 63,000 acres to become largest blaze in California this year
Officials: This fire’s growth has slowed but it is still on track to consume more than 1,700 homes.
This fire near Santa Barbara, Calif., has expanded to more than 63,000 acres, making it the state’s largest wildfire this year and the second-largest in Sonoma County, officials said.
California National Guard and state fire officials said the fire near Santa Barbara is now the largest and fifth-largest in state history.
The fire started Thursday from a blaze in the remote Santa Ynez Mountains that was about 3,000 acres bigger than last year’s Yarnell fire.
The flames from this fire started near the ocean and grew in the first 24 hours to cover a total of 63,000 acres in Santa Barbara County, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Officials said the fire has now covered more than 1,700 homes and is only 1% contained. The fire has destroyed more than 70 structures on top of its original 2,300-acre footprint in Santa Barbara County.
By Saturday afternoon, the fire was only 20% contained.
About 200 people were evacuated from their homes.
The blaze started shortly after 8 a.m. Thursday. Residents were told to keep the windows open and evacuate their homes immediately.
By Thursday night, it had covered about 13 square miles, or roughly half the size of Sonoma County, fire officials said.
The fire had been burning since it started.
It was the largest fire in state history when it was first reported on Thursday afternoon.
By Thursday night, the fire had covered 4,600 acres — roughly a third of all the land in all of Sonoma County, and more than 70% of the land in Santa Barbara County.
It was reported at 7:30 p.m. Thursday as a 12-acre fire ignited from a wildfire south of Santa Y