IN BRIEF: Fighting Fire and Studying Smoke’s Effects

Firefighters seen in silhouette against bright flames at night.
The Mosquito Fire, near Foresthill, was nearing 50,000 acres with 18% containment as of this morning (Sept. 13), Cal Fire said. (Courtesy Cal Fire)


  • Campus fire crew deployed to the Mosquito Fire on Friday
  • Underwater drone monitors smoke particles in Lake Tahoe
  • AggieTravel is now AggieExpense, with streamlined screens
  • Blood drive nets 145 pints; bloodmobiles return in November

A twin mission on Mosquito Fire

A UC Davis fire crew continues to help in the fight against the Mosquito Fire in Placer and El Dorado counties as UC Davis researchers at Lake Tahoe study the impact of smoke from the blaze.

The four-person UC Davis Fire Department team deployed to the fire Friday (Sept. 9), and have since spent time mopping up the heel of the fire, dousing hot spots and patrolling the area, Fire Chief Nate Trauernicht said.

Today (Sept. 13) marks one week since the blaze began, and it has exploded in size. It now encompasses 49,800 acres, with less than a fifth of it contained, Cal Fire reported this morning. The fire is threatening nearly 6,000 structures and has led to thousands of evacuations.

“Resources continue to arrive in the area to assist with the full suppression efforts against the Mosquito Fire,” Cal Fire said in its latest status update.

The campus firefighters, aboard Brush 34, are: Capt. Paul Rush; engineer Derek Carthy; and firefighters Meggie Elledge and Cara Martinez. This marks the first time the identical twins Elledge and Martinez have been deployed to a wildfire together, Trauernicht said.

Smokey sky and sunset above Lake Tahoe
Smoke from the Mosquito Fire fills the air above Lake Tahoe. (Tahoe Environmental Research Center)

The air quality in Davis and surrounding areas has been impacted by the fire, but onshore winds are keeping the worst smoke near and northeast of the fire today, the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality District said on its website.

While that may be good news for Davis, it’s bad news for the areas closer to the fire. While smoke from the blaze blankets the Lake Tahoe region, the Tahoe Environmental Research Center has launched an underwater drone on a monthlong deployment to study the effects of smoke particles falling onto the lake.

AggieExpense is live

Changes to AggieTravel took effect Monday (Sept. 12), serving up cleaner, streamlined screens and giving the app a new name, AggieExpense, reflecting the diversity of transactions that go through the system.

User interface changes include larger fonts with easier-to-read text; larger fields for ease of searching for and entering data; and easier-to-use buttons. The changes do not affect overall functionality or change how requests or reports are processed. Read more about the changes.

Along with the new name come new addresses:

Note, however, that new addresses redirect to the old ones.

Blood drive collects 145 pints

Vitalant reported collecting 145 pints of blood in the last campus blood drive, Aug. 30-31  “We had a wonderful Summer Session II blood drive,” said Maria Gillen of Vitalant. “Once again, our UCD students showed generosity and kindness, and we saw many first-time donors, which is so encouraging.” Vitalant’s next drive on campus will be Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 8-10.

Media Resources

Dateline Staff: Dave Jones, editor, 530-752-6556,; Cody Kitaura, News and Media Relations specialist, 530-752-1932,

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