(PLACER COUNTY, Calif.) — A fast-moving wildfire scorching through Northern California has destroyed dozens of homes and is creating dangerous smoke conditions in regions farther north.
The Mosquito Fire has burned through nearly 49,000 acres and has gutted at least 25 single occupancy residences in El Dorado and Placer counties since it sparked on Sept. 6, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
The fire, which is only 16% contained, could worsen as strong southwest winds bring drier air on Tuesday, fire officials said.
More than 11,000 people in the region have been ordered to evacuate. Both the El Dorado and Tahoe National Forests are closed because of the Mosquito Fire, officials said.
The fire is so intense that the smoke being emitted is producing hazardous air quality conditions for states farther north and east. A red flag warning in Wyoming has been issued due to winds gusting up to 30 mph and humidity levels as low as 10%.
Large plumes of smoke were seen covering the city of Reno, Nevada, in a time-lapse video posted to Twitter on Sunday by the National Weather Service’s Reno office. The smoke lingered in the Tahoe Basin through at least Monday, according to NWS.
More than 2,600 firefighters worked overnight Monday to build and strengthen control lines surrounding the largest portion of the blaze, according to Cal Fire.
“Firefighters are remaining vigilant on the southern edge of the fire to ensure that there is no threat of escape,” a bulletin for the Mosquito Fire stated.
Nationwide, more than 6.7 million acres of land have burned this year, with most of the fires concentrated in the Northwest, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. More than 43,000 of those fires were sparked by people, while just 6,341 were sparked by lightning, according to the Fire Center.
Bone-dry landscapes as a result of a decadeslong megadrought in the West is exacerbating the fire danger, causing dehydrated vegetation to act as fuel for the flames.
ABC News’ Marilyn Heck contributed to this report.
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