Rough fire reaches Kings Canyon National Park

Packers carry supplies to Rough fire lines.
Packers carry supplies to Rough fire lines.

The Rough fire has reached Kings Canyon National Park, about 11/2 miles away from Cedar Grove, federal incident managers announced Saturday morning.

The fire has slowly spread over Stag Dome burning toward the northeast. The incident managers said wind and terrain suggest it will burn toward Kennedy Mountain, the 11,433-foot peak about six miles north of Cedar Grove. At 4 p.m., incident managers said the fire had burned across the Lewis Creek drainage.

Cedar Grove is a small development of rangers headquarters, campgrounds, lodge, store and restaurant on Highway 180 near the road’s end in Kings Canyon.

Firefighters earlier last week set up protection of the Cedar Grove structures and water treatment plant, including building wraps and laying water hoses.

The incident managers also noted that packers Debbie McDougald and John Sprik have made three supply trips (seven miles one way carrying food, water and tools) to fire lines with four more planned.

The packers’ success means incident managers don’t have to divert helicopters from firefighting to supply runs, and the packers are able to haul refuse out, limiting the firefighters’ effect on wilderness areas.

The fire is at 85,894 acres, the largest in California, and 25 percent containment; 2,038 people are fighting it. It started with a lightning strike on July 31.

Previously announced closures remain in effect for much of the area, including Hume Lake and Kings Canyon. Road closures include McKinley Grove Road at Wishon Dam and Trimmer Springs Road at Kirch Flat.

Parts of the Grants Grove and Wilsonia areas of Kings Canyon National Park are open.

Check the Rough fire webpage for details.