March 1, 2024

The Pizen Switch Times

Established 2021

Evening of September 11th, 2022: Smoke Rolls Into Mason Valley from Mosquito Fire

September 11, 2022 After a sunny, sometimes partially cloudy Sunday in Mason Valley, Nevada, smoke from the Mosquito Fire rolled in from the East.

The Mosquito Fire began burning near the Sierra town of Forest Hill, California. It began on September 6th and has burned 46,587 acres with 10% containment as of 7:46pm on 09/11/2022.

Yesterday when the fire was at 0% containmet, Don Zirbel, retired Fire Engineer/Paramedic, posted on Facebook’s Eastern Sierra Fire and Ice in answer to a question:

“The term “containment” to firefighters is different and more technical than the commonly understood definition that most of us use. For a percentage of the fire to be declared “contained”, it requires that a control be completed around the fire, and any associated spot fires, to the extent which it can confidently be expected to stop the fire’s spread. Even though the fire’s progress may be effectively halted along a given section of perimeter by whatever means (retardant drops, hose lines, dozer fire breaks etc., hand crews (hotshots) still must work the entire length of control line by hand to ensure that there are no hot spots or smoldering areas which could reignite and begin spreading again. Until that work is completed, official containment cannot be declared. Incident Commanders are also careful not to declare containment of a section of perimeter too soon, particularly on large fires such as this which have the potential to increase significantly in acreage, which would then mathematically create a scenario in which the percentage of existing containment shrinks as a proportion of the overall size of the still-growing perimeter. Also, containment figures represent the percentage of fire perimeter, not the entire surface area of the fire. So the entire interior area of a given fire may no longer be a threat, but until the actual perimeter is worked as described above, it’s still not “contained”. Right now on the Mosquito, priority for resources is life safety, structure protection and halting the progress of the fire as much as possible…and once a handle on all those things starts falling into place, crews can begin the process of official containment in wildfire terms. I’m confident just following the fire radio channels and official updates that suppression efforts are going well, and folks shouldn’t be too concerned about containment still being at 0% at the moment.”

This afternoon  heavy smoke from the Mosquito Fire travelled East across Lake Tahoe to Carson Valley on to Smith Valley and has now settled in Mason Valley.

The following photos are time lapsed from Alertwildfire.org from Rockland Peak (South of Mason Valley) looking North to Mason Valley. On the East (left in photos) the smoke begins rolling in.

Currently (after 8pm) the air quality in Yerington is poor according to the 2 PurpleAir.com sensors in Yerington. Air quality is forecast to be poor throughout the night in Mason Valley.