AUBURN, Calif. (September 15, 2022) — At the September 15 meeting of the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors, the Board received a comprehensive report from staff on the progress of the Mosquito Fire and the status of PCWA’s Middle Fork American River Project, which is located within the footprint of the Mosquito Fire.
“While damage to the project cannot be fully assessed at this time, we can report that energy generation has been severely curtailed,” explained PCWA General Manager Andy Fecko. “As of this morning, our top concern is our largest powerhouse, the Middle Fork Powerhouse, which is located within a mile of the fire’s eastern boundary.”
Despite losing the ability to generate power, the Agency continues to meet its minimum stream flow requirements out of Middle Fork Powerhouse and Oxbow Powerhouse, keeping water flowing and available for fire-fighting efforts. So far, there is no impact to water supply or water service for PCWA customers.
“On behalf of the PCWA Board of Directors and agency employees, I want to send our heartfelt condolences to all those affected by the Mosquito Fire,” said Board Chairman Mike Lee. “PCWA has a number of employees who live and work in the affected communities, and I thank those who have come together to support them. I also want to express our profound appreciation to fire-fighting personnel and other first responders who have battled record heat and unforgiving terrain to protect lives and property.”
The Mosquito Fire erupted on the evening of September 6 near Oxbow Reservoir in the Tahoe National Forest. Since that time, PCWA has evacuated all employees from the area, coordinated with emergency responders on the location and protection of Agency assets, and opened its facilities in Foresthill and Auburn to personnel working on the front lines of the fire.
At the conclusion of the Board meeting, Mr. Fecko stated, “The Mosquito Fire is the type of fire PCWA has been concerned about for the last decade, and the reason we take protection of our watershed so seriously. Experience has shown that the impacts to our rivers, hydroelectric facilities, and ecosystem will take years to remediate and cost tens of millions of dollars. The action taken by the PCWA Board today will allow Agency to expedite emergency repairs on the project once conditions allow.Safety of staff and customers remains our highest priority.”
At the time of publication, the Mosquito Fire has reached just over 64,000 acres with 20 percent containment according to InciWeb, the national incident information system for wildfires and all-hazard incidents.