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Rough Fire Over 100,000 Acres As Smoke Blankets Area

SIERRA NATIONAL FOREST – As dense smoke continues to impact central California, the Rough Fire has now grown to 103, 244 acres, still at 31 percent containment, and remains the largest active fire in California.

Heavy concentrations of smoke continue to be present in the fire area. Smoke is slow to lift with increased impacts in the San Joaquin Valley foothills northwest of the fire. Unhealthy to Hazardous conditions are expected in communities near the fire. Similar conditions are expected tomorrow, with increased impacts expected in the Owens Valley.

There are 1,900 personnel currently assigned to the incident, including 41 crews, 143 engines, 12 helicopters, and overhead personnel.

On Monday, the Rough Fire crossed over the fireline along Kings River in the Hoist Ridge area. Firefighters pulled back due to hazardous terrain. Air resources will continue working the fires edge trying to slow its progress.

An evacuation has been issued by the Fresno County Sheriff for areas west of the Converse Basin. An evacuation warning has been issued for the Grant Grove area. for more information visit the Fresno County Sheriff’s website or call (559) 600-3111.

A community meeting will be held today, Wednesday, Sept. 9, at the Dunlap School, 39667 Dunlap Road, at 6:30 p.m.

Last night crews patrolled and mopped up lines in the Hume Lake and Cedar Grove areas. They also patrolled line along the south east edge of the fire and responded to any spot fires they found outside of the line.

Weather is predicted to be hot and dry with light winds. The fire is expected to be active throughout the day.

Today crews will continue to provide structure protection in the Cedar Grove and Hume Lake areas.

West of Hoist Ridge the fire will remain active. Air tankers will provide aerial drops of water and retardant to slow the fire’s advance.

In area north of Sequoia Lake, crews will scout and access potential location to extend the fireline between the Chicago Stump area and Highway 180.

Crews will continue to improve the contingency line along McKenzie Ridge north to the Kings River.

Motorists are reminded to make sure their headlights are on and use caution when driving on Highway 180. There may be fire crews, and engines working near or on the Highway.

As the weather continues to become hotter and drier fire behavior and fuel consumption is steadily picking up. The North Zone is coordinating with the South Zone to determine contingency actions needed to protect values at risk north of the Kings River on the western edge of the fire. North Zone fire crews are focused on identifying additional contingency lines between Kings River and 10S69 Road (Fence Meadow). The North Zone will be staffing a spike camp at Trimmer Work Center for the resources working in this area.

Interior pockets of fire will continue to burn in the Crown Valley, Rancheria Creek areas. Crews continue to patrol the containment lines and conduct suppression repair efforts. Firefighters are monitoring two inaccessible areas of heat in Rancheria Creek.

Firefighters expect another day of flanking and upslope runs along the uncontained fire edges where it has become established in the drainage bottoms. Rolling material will cause challenges to containment lines. On the North Zone, firefighters and heavy equipment (dozers, excavators, and masticators) will continue suppression repair efforts in the area between Balch Camp and Tule Meadow.

Crews continue removing hose and equipment in the Rodgers Ridge area and expect to complete this mission in the next few days. They also continue to work with the Resource Advisors (READs) to minimize any potential impact to the Yosemite toad and water resources in the Tea Kettle Experimental Forest area.

As fire continues to burn within containment lines, crews will monitor the threat to private structures in the Rancheria Creek area. Repair work has started on the Spanish Mountain OHV trail and is expected to be completed in 2-4 days. An assessment of suppression repairs needed on the Crown Valley Trail has also begun.

The Rough Fire, which was started by lightning on July 31, is burning in the Kings River Drainage, 5 miles North of Hume Lake and 2.5 miles southwest of Spanish Mountain.

The fire is being managed on the Sierra National Forest, Sequoia National Forest, and Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, by the Rocky Mountain Type 1 Incident Management Team (RMIMT1) and the Sierra National Forest Type 3 Incident Management Team. The Rocky Mountain IMT has a Facebook page dedicated to “Thank You” notes to the firefighters working on the fireline. Visit the page at https://www.facebook.com/RockyMtn.Type1.IMT.PIOs

Source: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/4456/29232/

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