September 6, 2022
The Mosquito Fire was a large wildfire that burned in California's Placer and El Dorado counties as the state's largest wildfire of 2022. The fire began on September 6, above Oxbow Reservoir in the Middle Fork American River drainage on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada. The Mosquito Fire went on to burn 76,788 acres, destroying 78 structures in the small, rural communities of Michigan Bluff, Foresthill and Volcanoville. It was declared 100% contained on October 22, more than a month and a half later, well after the fire's progression was halted.
During the first week of the fire's spread, more than 11,000 people were placed under evacuation orders and more than 9,000 structures were threatened. Officials warned of "great potential" for continued fire spread, but the fire was moderated by an unusually early Pacific storm that brought wetting rains to the area in mid-September, after which the fire grew little and containment steadily increased.
The fire suppression effort cost more than $180 million, and at its peak involved more than 3,700 firefighters under the direction of the Type 1 California Incident Management Team (IMT), Cal Fire, the U.S. Forest Service, Placer and El Dorado counties, and the Foresthill Fire Protection District were all part of the Mosquito Fire's unified command. The cause of the fire has not been established, but the potential role of Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) equipment is the subject of multiple civil lawsuits and a U.S. Forest Service criminal investigation.