SIERRA NATIONAL FOREST – On July 31, lightning storms ignited several fires on the Sierra National Forest. Firefighters were successful in controlling all but one, which has been dubbed the Rough Fire.
Located midway up the steep, rocky canyon walls of the upper Kings River drainage by Deer Ridge (Monarch Wilderness) and Rough Spur Ridge, the fire was last reported at 500 acres in size. There is no estimated containment in today’s report.
Fire crews have been challenged with finding a safe location to engage in direct attack of this fire, but are utilizing ridgelines and natural barriers as potential places at which to stop and hold the fire.
With such inaccessible terrain, firefighters on initial attack had to be flown in. As of yesterday, Aug. 5, there were 274 personnel assigned to the fire.
Incident Commander Belinda Plummer has been utilizing Type 1 helitankers to slow the progression of the fire to the south into the Kings River canyon, to minimize the potential of it jumping the river and moving on to the Sequoia National Forest – Hume Lake Ranger District.
The Sierra National Forest has been working closely with the Sequoia National Forest and Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park on planning how best to control this fire while minimizing concerns with firefighter and public safety.
Additional concerns come from the natural flow of winds in the Kings River drainage that move the smoke to the east/northeast during the day, and trap evening smoke within the Kings River area and the slopes immediately adjacent.
Fire personnel have been working closely with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution District and California Air Resource Board to ensure that information is readily available for those who may be impacted by this fire.
Weak high pressure is forecast to bring warmer temperatures, however expect an upper low to bring a slight chance of thunder storms over the fire area. This threat will continue into Friday afternoon. Dry conditions and slightly warmer temperatures are expected.