Evacuation of the popular vacation destination Hume Lake began Tuesday afternoon after the Rough Fire jumped the Kings River and Highway 180.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office issued mandatory evacuation notices to people in the area of the lake, home to the Hume Lake Christian Camp. Approximately 1,000 people living, working and recreating around Hume Lake were escorted out of the area.
The fire, burning since July 31, reached the Kings River in the steep Kings River Canyon early Tuesday morning and for a brief time firefighters were able to stop the fire before it jumped the river and began moving up the canyon. The fire is now burning into the Sequoia National Forest.
Tuesday afternoon, Tulare County was putting together a strike team for Hume Lake, including a second engine and a three-person crew from the City of Porterville. On Sunday, the city sent a patrol engine and three firefighters to the fire.
The California Highway Patrol has also moved the road closure location, which had been at the intersection of Highway 180 and Hume Lake Road. The new road closure now sits farther south on Highway 180 at Grant Grove Tree (approximately 2 miles north of the Highway 180 and Highway 198 interchange). The roadway will remain closed until authorities determine it is safe to reopen.
No one will be allowed to enter the Hume Lake area until further notice.
The Rough Fire started from a lightning strike. It has burned more than 24,000 acres and there is zero containment.
The fire, burning in the canyon northeast of Woodlake, has been growing by more than 2,500 acres per day for the past five days. It grew by 2,621 acres on Monday.
The fire is burning in both the Sierra and Sequoia national forests and even Kings Canyon National Park. Most of the fire until Tuesday had been burning in the Sierra National Forest with most of the growth on the northwest flank of the fire in the Spring Creek Drainage, east of Rodgers Lookout.
On Monday night the wind shifted and sent smoke into the Valley, which hung around most of Tuesday.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office on Monday issued evacuation warning notices to people in the area of Black Rock Reservoir, which is east of Pine Flat Lake. There are not many residents or employees in the area, however, Black Rock Campground, a popular destination for visitors, is closed. The Sheriff’s Office wants to make the public aware that they no longer have access to it with Blackrock Road now being closed to motorists. It will remain closed until authorities determine it is safe to reopen.
On Sunday, the Park issued a closure of the Cedar Grove area.
The latest report showed 1,098 personnel assigned to the fire. They are working in very steep terrain and very dry conditions. They are aided by 25 engines and five helicopters.
A meeting was held Tuesday night in Dunlap to update residents of that area.
Also, the Cabin Fire, which has been burning since July 19 in the Golden Trout Wilderness of Sequoia National Forest, has grown to 2,828 acres. It is 96 percent contained.