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Areas Near Rough Fire To Reopen

HUME LAKE RANGER DISTRICT & KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARK – The National Park Service and the USDA Forest Service are excited to share with the public the plan and timetable for the reopening of the Grant Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park, the road between Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (the Generals Highway), and parts of the Giant Sequoia National Monument.

The Rough Fire is now 141,201 acres with 68 percent containment.

Starting Friday, Sept. 18, at 8 a.m., the road closure at Highway 180 and 245 will be moved to the junction of Highway 180 and the Generals Highway. This will open access to drive into the Giant Sequoia National Monument and through Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

Additionally, areas in the Hume Lake District south of Highway 180 and west of the Generals Highway will be open for recreation. National Forest areas east of Grant Grove, including Hume Lake will remain closed.

On Saturday, Sept. 19, at 10 a.m., residents of Grant Grove and Wilsonia in Kings Canyon National Park will be allowed to return to their homes. To access this area, residents must have a valid sticker or identification.

Access beyond the Grant Tree Road on Highway 180 is prohibited, and access to the General Grant Tree is prohibited. The Grant Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park is not open for recreation this weekend.

Also on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 8:00 a.m., the Montecito Lake Resort will be open and the only facility open to the public at this time.

Then, Sunday, Sept. 20, Stony Creek Resort will be for day-use only. For specifics on what is open in Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument, please stop by or call the Hume Lake Ranger Station, Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., 559-338-2251, or check the forest’s website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/sequoia.

Beginning Monday, Sept. 21, at 8 a.m., in Kings Canyon National Park, the Grant Grove area will reopen in phases to visitors and the public:

Monday, September 21:

  • General Grant Tree is open.
  • Kings Canyon Visitor Center (open limited hours from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily until further notice)
  • Grant Grove Market (open at 10 a.m.)
  • Grant Grove Restaurant and Gift Shop (open at 12 noon)
  • John Muir Lodge / Grant Grove Bath Cabins (reservations/walk-ins welcome, front desk open at 12 noon)
  • Highway 180 will remain closed just beyond the Grant Tree Road in Kings Canyon National Park.

Tuesday, Sept. 22: The market, restaurant, gift shop, and lodging will return to normal operating hours.

Thursday, Sept. 24: Azalea and Crystal Springs campgrounds at 12 noon.

For specifics on open/closed trails or roads, please stop by any park visitor center or call 559-565-3341.

Conditions on the Rough Fire have improved greatly in the last couple of days. There are 1,411 personal working on the fire across an area larger than the City of Fresno. As a reminder, both forest and park lands are still under fire restrictions. For more information on the Rough Fire, please visit http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4456/.

  • Structures Destroyed: 4
  • Firefighter injuries to date: 7
  • Total Personnel: 1,411
  • Fire Resources: 22 crews, 90 engines, 13 helicopters, 12 bulldozers, 17 water tenders

Breakdown of Acreage by Ownership:

  • Kings Canyon National Park: 8,536 acres
  • State Lands: 6 acres
  • Sequoia National Forest: 80,170 acres
  • Private Lands: 999 acres
  • Sierra National Forest: 51,490 acres

Containment continues to grow on the Rough Fire due to moderated fire behavior. Unseasonably warmer and dryer conditions will be returning through the weekend resulting in a possible increase in fire activity.

Interior pockets of unburned fuel will continue to burn. Residents may see an increased amount of smoke over the fire area in the upcoming days, especially along the western perimeter where strategic firing operations are planned for this weekend.

As road and area closures are lifted, the public is reminded to be extra cautious of fire vehicles on roadways.

With a collaborative effort between Incident Management Teams and firefighters, the threat to the State Responsibility Area has been mitigated. The Rough Fire is now split into two zones. California Interagency Incident Management Team 4 has command of the South while the South Central Sierra Incident Management Team 2 has command of the North Zone.

SOUTH ZONE

Conditions remain favorable for strategic firing operations to tie in the remaining portion of the line in the western portion of the South Zone along the north end of McKenzie Ridge to the Kings River. Firefighters will spend today preparing for those strategic firing operations. Fire crews will also focus on aggressive mop up to further secure containment lines currently in place and will continue patrols along the Highway 180 corridor and the southeast portion of the fire.

Suppression repair efforts are ongoing. Suppression repair refers to actions taken to restore areas affected by fire fighting efforts. The potential for new fire starts will increase with unseasonably hot and dry weather, firefighters are prepared to respond as needed.

NORTH ZONE

Pacific high pressure will remain over the region today and into the weekend. A warming and drying trend will accompany this pattern change which means fire activity could possibly increase today with the higher temperatures and lower relative humidity. In the Balch Camp area, crews will watch for the effects of down canyon winds early this morning and reverse by late morning.

Crews are also coordinating with Pacific Gas and Electric on structure protection needs in Balch Camp. With sensitivities to species and habitat, crews are being extra cautious with suppression and repair in the Kirch Flat and Rogers Crossing area.

UPDATED CLOSURES: The Sequoia National Forest, in pursuant to 16 USC 551 and 36 CFR 261.50(a) and (b), and to provide for public safety, implemented a closure within the Rough Fire area on the Hume Lake Ranger District. The purpose of the closure is to provide safety for the public and for the firefighters who are engaged in fire suppression activities. The closure will remain in effect until the fire is declared out.

The Sequoia National Forest, Giant Sequoia National Monument, and Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks would like to remind visitors to take extra precautions when visiting these forests and parks. A major wildfire has gone through the area and there are still firefighters and equipment in the area. For your safety and theirs, please drive extra carefully and slowly.

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