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Rough Fire Nears 130,000 Acres, Smokey Conditions Persist

SIERRA NATIONAL FOREST – The Rough Fire has now grown to 129,877 acres with 31 percent containment. The Fresno County Sheriff has issued an additional evacuation warning for the area along Hopewell Road north of Highway 180 and east to the Sequoia National Forest Boundary.

The fire is now split into three zones: South Zone – managed by California IMT 4, Incident Commander Rocky Opliger; West Zone – managed by Cal Fire IMT 2, Incident Commander Glenn Paterson; and North Zone – managed by Sierra National Forest Type 3 IMT, Incident Commander John Goss.

South Zone: Crews are still providing structure protection in the Cedar Grove area, and fire activity has reportedly been light there.

A few spot fires were found last night north of Sequoia Lake and firefighters were able to contain them to four acres. This portion of the fire is being watched carefully by firefighters today.

The fire has still not crossed Highway 180 above Dunlap and Miramonte.

West Zone:

Nighttime burnout operations on Rough Fire - photo SNFFirefighters made significant progress firing out along McKenzie Ridge yesterday.

The fire is now very close to Delilah Tower and heading north. Hand crews are working to keep the fire east of the ridge, but it will be a very vulnerable part of the fire today.

The fire is near the Kings River in the vicinity of Camp 4 in the northwestern portion of the fire.

North Zone:

Fire moving north towards the Kings River remains the primary concern on the North Zone. Continued fire growth to the west, south of the Kings River, may trigger an evacuation order for Balch Camp and other PG&E facilities in the river corridor.

Crews and dozers will work on contingency lines and establish operational trigger points on the western edge of the fire.

Structure protection operations and planning will continue in the areas directly north and west of the fire.

Conditions are expected to be cloudy today with relative humidity in the teens. A few periods of precipitation is possible. High pressure remains over Nevada and the Sierra.

Burnout Operations on Rough Fire Near Snowline Lodge - photo SNFHeavy concentrations of smoke are expected near the fire and to the west foothills today. Smoke will be slow to lift and transport will be primarily terrain and diurnally driven. Limited ventilation is forecast for today with continued increased impacts expected in the San Joaquin Valley west and northwest of fire.

Unhealthy to Hazardous conditions are expected in the foothill communities west and northwest of the fire. Conditions improve in the Owens Valley.

Air Quality Tomorrow: A more south to southwest wind will begin to alleviate smoke impacts in the San Joaquin Valley. More smoke will impact the northern portion of the Owens valley.

A low pressure system aloft is forecast to spin a couple weak waves over the area. A gradual cooling trend will continue through Tuesday, with slowly rising relative humidity values, and fair relative humidity recovery tonight. Winds remain terrain and diurnally driven. An inversion and thermal belt will form overnight trapping smoke. High temperatures will range 80-90 with lows 60-70, and relative humidity values will range teens to around 30 percent.

Type II IMT (IC Dave Cooper) will take control of the North Zone with a planned transition date of Sept. 15.

The Rough Fire is now 129,877 acres, with acreage on the Sequoia National Forest at 48,945, Sierra National Forest 71,905 acres, Kings Canyon National Park 7,752 acres, and 194 uncategorized acres.

There are currently 2,961 personnel assigned to the incident, with 67 crews, 156 engines, 20 helicopters and 42 dozers.

Closures & Advisories

For a full size map of the Rough Fire, click here.

For more information on the Sierra National Forest closure orders, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/sierra/alerts-notices

For more information on the Sequoia National Forest closure orders, http://www.fs.usda.gov/sequoia/

For more information about the Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park, http://www.nps.gov/seki/index.htm

For more information about the mandatory evacuations, visit http://www.fresnosheriff.org/

The Fresno County Sheriff issued an additional evacuation warning for the area along Hopewell Road north of Highway 180 and east to the Sequoia National Forest Boundary.

The Rough Fire was caused by lightning on July 31.

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