SIERRA NATIONAL FOREST – Smoke was visible again today from the Rough Fire, due to tactical firing operations.
Unburned pockets of fuel continue to burn with higher temperatures over the fire area. Firefighters will strengthen and hold containment lines during these operations to prevent escape.
Rough Fire has burned within 250 yards of the General Grant – the 2nd largest tree on the planet. The fire is now 141,599 acres with 68 percent containment.
Four structures have been destroyed, and eight firefighters have been injured. There are current.y 1,381 personnel assigned to the incident, including 22 crews, 85 engines, 13 copters, 14 dozers, and 28 water tenders.
A Public Meeting is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 21, at 6:30 p.m. at Dunlap School, 39667 Dunlap Road. The meeting will be livestreamed at http://ustre.am/1fXEJ
Unseasonably hot and dry weather will continue at least through Monday, so more active fire behavior is expected as unburned fuels within the fire perimeter are consumed. Smoke from firing operations will be visible across the region.
The public is encouraged to be cautious driving on local roads, as fire equipment is still working in the area.
Yesterday firefighters made significant progress with firing operations to secure the western perimeter of the fire on the north end of McKenzie Ridge by burning out the area between the active fire edge and the containment lines. Helicopters were expected to complete this firing operation on Sunday.
Firefighters will continue to strengthen the fire line one mile north of Horse Corral Road by conducting firing operations in an unburned island of fuel inside of the fire perimeter east of Buck Rock Lookout and north of the Big Meadow area. Crews continue to mop up, patrol, and strengthen containment lines around the rest of the fire.
In areas of the fire where control lines are no longer needed, suppression rehabilitation crews are removing equipment and repairing hand and dozer lines by scattering or chipping slash and windrowed material, constructing water-bars to control erosion, and re-contouring mid-slope fire lines.
Due to the successful completion of firing operating on the far west edge of the fire, south of the King River, the threat to PG&E infrastructure and the residence at Balch Camp has been minimized. The Balch Structure Group will remain engaged until the threat has been completely mitigated.
Interior pockets of fuel will continue to burn as humidity drops over the next several days. Along the fire perimeter, fire firefighters continue to mop up and cool heavy logs. The fire continues to creep and smolder through the surface fuels.
During the morning briefing, Forest Supervisor Dean Gould expressed his appreciation to firefighters for the outstanding safety record during this complex fire.
Area closures for public and firefighter safety remain in place on the Sequoia and Sierra National Forests, Giant Sequoia National Monument, Sequoia National Park, and Kings Canyon National Park. A phased reopening of certain areas of the National Monument and National Parks continued today. More information is available at the websites below:
Sierra National Forest Closure Orders: http://www.fs.usda.gov/sierra/
Sequoia National Forest Closure Orders: http://www.fs.usda.gov/sequoia/
Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park: http://www.nps.gov/seki/index.htm
Evacuation Notices: http://www.fresnosheriff.org/
Fire Info — inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4456/
Twitter: @Sierra_NF @SequoiaForest @SequoiaKingsNPS
Fire Call Line 559-549-4837 or 559-332-2028