FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Crews are doing everything they can to protect Hume Lake and the surrounding areas from the Rough Fire, which has grown to more than 41,000 acres with 3 percent containment.
The Grant Grove and Wilsonia areas at the Kings Canyon National Park will be closed to visitors on Saturday because of the ongoing firefight and smoke concerns.
Crews really focused on protecting the 450 structures around Hume Lake on Friday, and they were successful. However, they are expecting a change in the winds and lower humidity this weekend, which could make it even harder to fight this very large fire.
People come from all over the world to take pictures of the giant General Grant Tree. One family came from the East Coast. And while they took time to admire the towering tree, they couldn't help but notice the nearby Rough Fire.
"It's clear that it's there and it doesn't look very far away," said Daniel Osterower of Boston.
"Smoke just kind of billowing up, looked like a cloud," said Zack Haskin of Michigan.
Grant Grove was open Friday, but just beyond the tree, the roads were closed.
Just down the road at Hume Lake Christian Camp, firefighters put out a hot spot related to some back burning from Thursday. But Hume Lake's Guest Relations Manager Bill Carroll says the back burning along roads surrounding the camp has held back the force of the fire. But the danger remains.
"The fire is still spreading on our sides, so there are fire crews all around this camp just ready to protect the camp," said Carroll.
More than 1,400 firefighters from around the state are still battling the blaze with fire retardant and water from Hume Lake. Late Friday, the smoke had settled around the lake, allowing firefighters to take a breather from the large-scale fight.
"There's definitely a peace and a calm that these guys got it under control, and we absolutely serve in God that he's got it under control," said Carroll.
So this view stays picture perfect.
Action News has confirmed with fire officials that one structure has been destroyed, along with three other minor structures.
There is also an effort underway to find a hiker who got separated from her group near Horseshoe Lake. Search and rescue teams were hiking there Friday night.
The Rough Fire is currently 41,984 acres with 3 percent containment and 1,484 personnel.
The suppression strategy for the Rough Fire will utilize a combination of direct, indirect and point protection. A key element of the plan is flexibility and the ability to apply the right resource, to the right task, at the right time, for the right duration. It is understood fireline will be constructed only where it is feasible and safe to do so. It is the responsibility of the Incident Commander and their staff to work with the Agency Administrators to ensure the plan is regularly reviewed and updated.
Firefighters work to slow the growth of the Rough Fire towards Hume Lake. Air resources, including helicopters dropping water, and fixed-wing aircraft using fire retardant, in conjunction with firefighters on the ground working to create firelines.
This morning, as smoke conditions allow, fixed wing aircraft will continue with retardant drops. Last night, the Incident Command Post that was in Hume Lake was moved to the Hume Ranger Station in Dunlap. The move is to provide continuity-of-operations for the planning efforts. The firefighters and structure protection resources that were assigned to Hume Lake will continue to remain there to protect that infrastructure. California Interagency Incident Command Team 3 (CIIMT3) will transition and assume command of the southern half of the Rough fire.
On the northwest portion of the fire, crews are working to protect the Pacific Gas and Electric infrastructure in the Balch camp area. Yesterday, the Fresno County Sheriff's Office has issued evacuation warning notices to residents in the area of Sequoia Highlands. These homes are located northeast of Dunlap in small communities known as Crabtree, Sampson Flat, Davis Flat and Clover Meadows.
As the fire spread on Wednesday, the existing closure orders were expanded to include almost the entire Hume Lake Ranger District. The current closure is defined in Forest Order 15-19, which closes these areas for public safety:
- Most of the Hume Lake Ranger District from Delilah Rd. on the west to Jennie Lakes and Monarch Wildernesses to the east; and from Hwy 180 in the south to the Forest boundary to the north.
- Trail 26E02 and associated recreation areas along the Lower Kings River such as Camp 4 Rental Cabin
- Jennie Lakes Wilderness
- Monarch Wilderness
Areas that remain open for recreation include:
- Pinehurst area including Cedar Brook Picnic Area
- Eshom Campground
- Montecito Lake Resort
- Stony Creek area off of General's Highway including Stony Creek Resort, Stony Creek and Upper Stony Creek Campgrounds and Fir and Cove Group Campgrounds.
Fire Information: (559) 565-3704.
- Total Personnel: 1,484
- Size: 41,984 acres
- Percent of Perimeter Contained: 3 percent
Rough Fire at more than 41,000 acres, 3 percent containment
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