They said the order is effective at 6 a.m. on Wednesday to park visitors, staff and residents of Wilsonia.
FRESNO COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE PRESS RELEASE
Rough Fire Evacuation and Road Closure Updates
Due to dangerous conditions posed by the progression of the Rough Fire Thursday, mandatory evacuation notices went into effect for the area north of Highway 180 that stretches from Hopewell Road to the west, to the Armenian Church Camp Western in the center and Happy Gap / Sequoia Lake to the east. This area had previously been under an evacuation warning.
Evacuation warning notices continue to be in place for people living in the communities of Pinehurst, Miramonte and Dunlap. All residents should continue to prepare to leave at a moment's notice.
The Fresno County Sheriff's Office is working with the Calfornia Highway Patrol and CalTrans to enforce road closures, which include:
- Highway 180 east of Dunlap Road (Dunlap Road does remain open to people traveling into the communities of Pinehurst, Miramonte and Dunlap.
- Millwood Road at Dunlap Road is closed motorists.
- Highway 245 at the USFS Work Center in Pinehurst is closed to motorists.
- Highway 198 at Red Fir is closed into Kings Canyon National Park.
Definitions of Fire Terms
An evacuation warning is defined as an alert to community members in an area of a potential threat to life and property from an emergency incident. An evacuation warning may be issued when the potential or actual threat to civilian life is more than 2 hours away. When a warning is issued, residents are being warned to prepare to leave their home. The Sheriff's Office tries to issue the advisory as early as possible based upon the fire's activity so residents will have time to remove their pets, livestock, large boats, RV's and any other personal Rough Fire Evacuation and Road Closure Updates effects in an orderly, unrushed manner. However, because a wildfire can be unpredictable, the time frame between an advisory and a mandatory evacuation can change quickly. You must be prepared to go at any time.
A mandatory evacuation is declared when a wildfire directly threatens a community and residents are placed in danger. You must leave the area for you and your family's safety. Once you leave, you will not be allowed to return to your property until the mandatory evacuation is lifted.
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE PRESS RELEASE
In response to the current conditions on the Rough Fire, which is burning in Kings Canyon National Park and the Sierra and Sequoia national forests, the National Park Service issued an Evacuation Order, effective today at 6:00am, to park visitors, park employees, concessions staff, and residents of Wilsonia, in the Grant Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park. The National Park Service is working with the Sheriffs' Departments of both Fresno County and Tulare County to provide the evacuation notifications.
An Evacuation Order is defined as, "Movement of community members out of a defined area due to an immediate threat to life and property from an emergency incident. An Evacuation Order should be used when there is potential or actual threat to civilian life within 1 to 2 hours or when the Incident Commander deems it necessary to protect civilians."
With the increase of firefighting personnel and firefighting operations occurring in the Grant Grove area, and the potential for the Rough Fire to move into the area; the park management in cooperation with the Rough Fire Incident Management Team have made the decision to close the Grant Grove area, and order the evacuation.
At this time, Highway 180 is closed at the Big Stump Entrance Station. The Generals Highway (sometimes referred to as Hwy. 198 is closed at the Red Fir gate (which is west of Wuksachi Village). Sequoia National Park remains open and visitors can still use the Ash Mountain Entrance Station. Vehicles longer than 22 feet (including trailers) are not advised between Potwisha and Giant Forest Museum.
For more information on the Rough Fire, please call 559-332-2028, or visit http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4456/.
Information will also be posted on Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks' website at www.nps.gov/seki or on the parks' Facebook at www.facebook.com/SequoiaKingsNPS.