Hume Lake Christian Camps officials evacuated their employees on Wednesday and canceled all camp events until Oct. 4 because of Rough fire smoke and air-quality hazards.
In a Tumblr post, camp leaders said they consulted health officials about the cumulative effects of the smoke and horrible air quality before making the decision. They specified that this was a safety precaution, not the result of an official evacuation order. In all, 16 events were canceled.
All events scheduled after Oct. 4 are still on, the post said.
The Rough fire, which started with a lightning strike over a month ago, continues to tear through national forest and park service land. More than 81,500 acres were scorched as of Thursday morning. It is 25 percent contained.
The fire continues to move east. It is now about two miles from Cedar Grove. Campgrounds and buildings in the area were wrapped with flame retardant material, and firefighters placed hose lines throughout Cedar Grove in preparation for the likely upcoming firefight.
The American Red Cross Central Valley will host recovery events Thursday for permanent residents evacuated during the Rough fire.
The first will be held at the Red Cross’ Fresno office at 1300 W. Shaw Ave. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for those displaced by the northern end of the fire, which threatens the Balch Camp area. A second event will go from from 5 to 8 p.m. at Dunlap Elementary School for those evacuated due to the southern end of the fire.
Spokeswoman Katrina Poitras said the Red Cross will help to replenish residents’ food stores, which spoiled after they rushed out of their homes or lost power for several days.
Although some campgrounds are closed as a result of smoke and fire danger, many are still open for the Labor Day holiday weekend. Anyone interested in visiting a forest or parks service campground should visit www.recreation.gov or call (877) 444-6777 for more information.