Rough Fire Closes Westside Recreation Sites Labor Day Weekend

Staff Writer

The Rough Fire, currently burning in the Sierra and Sequoia National Forests and in Kings Canyon National Park has impacted visitors across all boundaries and more recreation sites will be closed Labor Day weekend in order to protect people from both the fire and the heavy smoke that the fire is creating, according to fire officials. This threat is not just from the spread of the fire, but also from the presence of smoke in the air, according to a news release. Most of the Hume Lake Ranger District has already been closed due to the threat of the fire. Now it’s the smoke in the air that is concerning Forest officials, forcing them to close the area to overnight use to protect the public.

The portions of the Hume Lake Ranger District that were expected to be open for Labor Day weekend travelers will be open ONLY for day use. Closed campgrounds include Stony Creek, Upper Stony Creek, Fir, Cove Group, and Eshom Campgrounds. Forest land around Eshom and Cherry Flat are ONLY open for day use. At this time, there is no dispersed overnight camping available on the Hume Lake Ranger District. Stony Creek Village Resort will only be open for day use, while Montecito Lake Resort will be closed this weekend.

Those portions of the Hume Lake Ranger District already closed to visitors, both day and overnight use, include forest land east of the Delilah Road (12S19), north of Highway 180 and Generals Highway, including the Jennie Lakes Wilderness and Monarch Wilderness. Additional areas now closed to overnight use include those areas south of Highway 180 and the Generals Highway that are managed by the Forest Service. For a map of the closure areas, and where visitors can still find opportunity for day use please check the Sequoia National Forest website www.fs.usda.gov/sequoia/

Forest concessionaire California Land Management is working to move campers who had reservations in the closed sites into other campgrounds in Sequoia National Forest and neighboring Sierra National Forest. Visitors are encouraged to change their plans to visit the Western Divide or Kern River Ranger District in the southern part of the Giant Sequoia National Monument and Sequoia National Forest. Camping spots may still be available on www.recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777 in time for weekend travel.

Portions of Highway 180 and the Generals Highway are still open for travel. Safety issues to be aware of are an increase of fire equipment on the roadways and poor visibility due to smoke, especially during the night and early morning hours. Neighboring Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks also have some limitations due to the Rough Fire; please check their website for more information www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/index.htm

Information for the Rough Fire is available online inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4456/ or by calling (559) 332-2028. For recreational information, please call the Hume Lake Ranger District (559) 338-2251 Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (closed Monday September 7, 2015)

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