Mosquito fire surpasses 63,000 acres to become largest blaze in California this year
With the state on edge about fires burning in the state, the state has confirmed a fire jump onto federal land, igniting more than 1,000 acres and forcing evacuation of some residents in northern San Bernardino County.
“People just started running out of houses and just started fleeing to get out of harm’s way,” said Jeff White, who lives in the city of Redlands.
The blaze jumped onto land held by the U.S. Forest Service at the site of the former Sespe Road-to-Mud Creek Bridge near Lake Henshaw, where a power line used to carry electricity to nearby Lake Isabella.
At the time of the fire jump, a crew of roughly 50 members was working to extinguish the blaze.
The fire began about 9:40 a.m. Tuesday and burned at least 5 miles into the wilderness before it was contained. It is considered the largest fire in San Bernardino County since July 22, 2007, when the 1,000-acre Redlands Fire scorched the region.
It is also the largest fire in the state since November 2014 when a wind-driven wildfire ignited on federally managed land in northern San Bernardino County, burning a total 63,539 acres and destroying dozens of cabins, houses and sheds.
“We had five firefighters to the fire’s front line,” said California Forest Fire Information Officer Michael Schaeffer. “They fought the fire for two days, and were successful in its containment.”
A heavy rainfall Tuesday night slowed, but didn’t stop, the fire, which was sparked from a road on a remote nature preserve. The fire burned south into the wilderness along the east side of the Angeles National Forest.
The fire could be “a lot worse” than it was, White said.
“This is a very remote area,” he said. “We have no cell service” and it is remote from most other communities. “It’s not like a major city, so I think we have a lot of time to enjoy it.”
Firefighters had to scramble down an escarpment to reach the blaze. They used a crane and “some of the biggest firetrucks you ever saw,