The Rough fire in the Sierra National Forest grew Sunday by more than 3,000 acres to 16,390 acres and forced the evacuation of campers from a popular campground.
Shortly before 6 p.m., the CHP shut down Highway 180 past the Hume Lake turnoff so that the road down into Kings Canyon would be open only to firefighters. The road to Hume Lake remained open.
A mandatory evacuation was ordered of Cedar Grove. Approximately 320 campsites, a 20-room lodge and restaurant, campground store, and a pack station were closed.
CHP officers also reported no one was left at Boyden Cave, the tourist attraction just off Highway 180 in the canyon.
The CHP and Fresno County Sheriff’s Office are working closely with the U.S. Forest Service to monitor the fire, which is burning five miles north of Hume Lake.
With a spell of hot weather and dry air moving into the area, firefighters expect the blaze will continue to burn. The fire had not crossed the south fork of the Kings River but was approaching the river below Highway 180.
The multi-agency firefighting team battling the Rough fire in the Sierra National Forest, Sequoia National Forest and Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks sent additional firefighters Saturday to Hume Lake Christian Camps and surrounding summer cabins to try to keep the fire away.
The fire started with a lightning strike July 31. The U.S. Forest Service said 740 personnel are working to contain it.