Additional firefighters called in to defend Hume Lake Christian Camps from Rough fire

Smoke billows from Rough fire on Saturday

Video: Fast time lapse video from USGS Buck Rock webcam
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Video: Fast time lapse video from USGS Buck Rock webcam

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 and keep the fire from damaging them.

Hume Lake Christian Camps guest relations manager Bill Carroll said firefighters are preparing to use the site as a command center. Most of the 1,800 or so campers departed on Friday – the last day of Hume Lake’s main summer camp.

Smaller groups of 200 to 500 children will visit the camps through the rest of the summer, Carroll said.

He said that fire managers told him that the blaze is still moving away from the area. It’s a little smoky, he added, but other than that Saturday has been a typical day.

If things go badly, Carroll said, the camp has an agreement with local school districts for bus transportation during an evacuation. It’s also in constant contact with parents about the status of the fire.

The multi-agency fire team said Saturday that 740 firefighters are currently battling the blaze, which has remained at 13,346 acres and zero percent containment since Friday. The fire started with a lightning strike on July 31.

Swimming and boating on Hume Lake have been restricted because helicopters are drawing water from it to fight the blaze. All roads into the parks and forests remain open, but an advisory warning of fire is in place for those using Highway 180 to Cedar Grove.

The Monarch Wilderness remains closed.

Moderate air quality was forecast for the Hume Lake, Cedar Grove, Independence and Big Pine areas. Other nearby locations should expect good air quality.