Mosquito fire grows past 50,000 acres in ‘historically dry’ brush as another blaze ignites west of Tahoe
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After igniting dozens of small fires and dozens of structures, the Rim Fire, now the fifth-largest wildfire in California, is now estimated to have burned 110,000 acres. More than 12,000 firefighters are battling the fire, which has scorched almost 700,000 acres in Tahoe National Forest and about half that area in the Sierra Nevada, reports CBS News correspondent Lara Logan.
On Monday, firefighters say a line of hot, dry and windy weather moved in from the north. Gusts up to 30 mph and heavy tree-fall could be seen in all directions at the Red Hill fire as it pushed northeast toward Lake Tahoe.
In an emergency evacuation advisory, the California National Guard advised people to stay out of the area, with the warning that some roads may be impassable.
“If you see trees on fire, get out of the area immediately,” said Glenn Heye, the assistant state parks director for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
While Red Hill and all the other wildfires on the California side of the Sierra Nevada have been contained since Friday, the fire still has grown larger and more dangerous. More than half the flames have burned just over 10,000 acres as they have pushed north to the edge of the U.S. 395.
Crews have been attacking this “snow-cone” blaze, which started as a grass fire and has quickly grown into a series of brush fires.
The Rim Fire now stands at 55,000 acres, with 2,500 more firefighters called in to help with the massive blaze, which is now being called by many firefighters as the largest in the state’s history.
On Sunday, one firefighter was killed and another wounded during a brush fire at Lake Minnewa State Park, a park that is within the Rim Fire’s path of destruction.
In all, six Californians were injured by lightning, wind or falling trees as the fire has rolled from one valley to the next in Lake and Hetch Hetchy national parks, reports CBS News consultant and senior producer David Wright. Two of them were transported to hospitals in critical condition