SIERRA NATIONAL FOREST – The Rough Fire has now grown to 110, 134 acres and remains the largest active fire in California. Containment has fallen from 31 to 29 percent as the fire perimeter grows.
Heavy concentrations of smoke were present near the fire today, with increased impacts in the San Joaquin Valley foothills northwest of the fire. Unhealthy to Hazardous conditions continue in communities near the fire. Similar conditions are expected tomorrow, with increased impacts expected in the Owens Valley.
Forest officials have been forced to close the Hume Lake Ranger District, say Forest officials. This includes Forest Service managed land from the southeast side of Pine Flat Reservoir to the boundaries of Kings Canyon National Park, and the Eshom area north of Badger. A closure map can be found on the Sequoia National Forest website www.fs.usda.gov/sequoia. This closure is expected to continue until the Rough Fire has been brought under control.
Fresno County Sheriff’s Department has closed Highway 180 east of Dunlap Road. Access to Highway 180 from Dunlap along Millwood Road is closed, and State Highway 245 is closed north of Pinehurst. Neighboring Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks also have closures due to the Rough Fire; please check their website for more information www.nps.gov/seki
Last night crews began a burnout operation along Highway 180 from Indian Basin to Cherry Gap. This will bring the fireline down to Highway 180 with a low intensity fire to minimize risk of spotting across the Highway.
Given the drought, heavy fuels, steep topography and large areas of bug kill, active fire behavior is expected to continue. Smoke conditions will hinder the use of air resources.
The line between Hume Lake and Landslide Grove has been in patrol status for several days and some of those resources will be moving to other areas of the fire.
In the southeast section of the fire, several spot fires have been found and crews have contained them. They will continue to patrol that portion of the fire.
In area north of Sequoia Lake, crews will construct and improve fireline from the Chicago Stump area southwest to Highway 180 in preparation for continued burn operations over the next few days.
Motorists are advised to keep their headlights are on and use caution when driving in areas of concentrated smoke.
North Zone fire crews are beginning work on reopening and adding contingency lines north of the Kings River based on the potential of the fire to move up from the south. Additional resources are being added to this Division including hot shot crews and dozers. Repeater C-36 will be moved to a new location in the Fence Meadow area outside established contingency lines.
Crews will continue to mop up, patrol and secure containment lines on the North and Northeastern edge of the fire. Suppression repair efforts will continue but at a slower pace given the focus on the western edge of the fire
There are 2,167 personnel currently assigned to the Rough Fire.
Information for the Rough Fire is available online inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4456/ or by calling (559) 332-2028, (559) 549-4837 or (559) 841-6248.