Rough Fire

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Rough Fire
Rough Fire on August 8.JPG
The Rough Fire on August 8. The area where this picture was taken was burned in the fire one week later.
LocationSierra National Forest, Fresno County, California
Coordinates36°52′26″N 118°54′18″W / 36.874°N 118.905°W / 36.874; -118.905Coordinates: 36°52′26″N 118°54′18″W / 36.874°N 118.905°W / 36.874; -118.905
Date(s)July 31, 2015 (2015-07-31) – November 5, 2015 (2015-11-05)
Burned area151,623 acres (61,360 ha)
Non-fatal injuries10

The Rough Fire was a devastating fire of the 2015 California wildfire season. The fire burned 151,623 acres (61,360 ha) of land, making it the largest fire of the year in California, involving up to 3,742 firefighters in the fire suppression efforts.[1]

Fire progression[edit]

The fire, caused by a lightning strike on July 31 located approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) North of Hume Lake, burned mainly in the Sierra National Forest and Sequoia National Forest.[1]

The fire neared many famous natural landmarks, including Hume Lake, and Hume Lake Christian Camps on the southern side of the fire. Most progress on battling the fire has been on the southern side, while the northern edge continues to burn, now 30 miles from the city of Fresno, California and Clovis, California. Drift smoke from the fire settled over Fresno, and Clovis which led the Clovis Unified School District to cancel outdoor recess and gym class on September 8.[citation needed]

On September 2 over 2,500 people were safely evacuated from Hume Lake Christian Camps and surrounding area. All camp events were cancelled and only security personnel remained.[2][3]

On September 5 the fire reached Kings Canyon National Park as it crossed the 85,800-acre (347 km2) mark.[4]

On September 7, a firefighter suffered from severe burns and was airlifted to the Community Regional Medical Center of Fresno.[5]

On September 10, officials at Kings Canyon National Park began evacuating all visitors and employees from the Wilsonia and General Grant Grove areas. A mandatory evacuation order was issued for Dunlap, effective September 11. [6]

On September 11, health officials in Fresno reported an "unprecedented increase" in hospital emergency department visits due to respiratory problems, and urged residents to avoid outdoor activities when the air is smoky.[7]

On September 15, 1pm, as the fire slowed down, and with favorable weather conditions, evacuation orders and warnings in Dunlap and Squaw Valley were lifted.[8]

At the peak of the wildfire, on September 15, the fire resources and personnel deployed were: 3,741 firefighters, 345 engines, 19 helicopters, and 45 bulldozers.[9]

As of November 5, the Rough Fire was 100% contained.

Largest fires list[edit]

As of September 10, the fire had surpassed the Simi Fire on the list of Largest wildfires in California as it reached 110,134 acres (446 km2).[1] On September 12, reaching 128,796 acres (52,122 ha), the Rough Fire passed the Campbell Complex Fire making it #17 on the list.[10] On September 13, reaching 135,317 acres (54,761 ha), the Rough Fire passed the Happy Camp Complex Fire, jumping to #16. On September 17, now contained at 67%, it reached 141,036 acres (57,075 ha) and surpassed the Big Bar Complex Fire, being #15 on the list. Still growing, even if contained at 85%, it passed the 150,000 acre landmark, and jump to position #13 on September 26.

Acreage by ownership[edit]

As of October 6, 2015, the total burned area can be break down into:[1]

Owner Acres Km2
Sequoia National Forest 82,573 334.2
Sierra National Forest 58,541 236.9
Kings Canyon National Park 9,413 38.1
Private lands 1,090 4.4
State lands 6 0.0
Total 151,623 613.6


  1. ^ a b c d e "Rough Fire". InciWeb. Retrieved October 3, 2015.
  2. ^ "Forest fire continues to spread". Porterville Recorder. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  3. ^ "Rough fire focus of community meeting in Dunlap". fresnobee. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  4. ^ "Rough fire reaches Kings Canyon National Park". The Fresno Bee. September 5, 2015. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  5. ^ "Rough Fire forces new evacuations, firefighter injured". KSBY. September 8, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  6. ^ Ginise, Megan; Appleton, Rory (September 10, 2015), "Rough fire forces evacuations in Dunlap, Grant Grove, Wilsonia", Fresno Bee, retrieved September 12, 2015
  7. ^ Aliferis, Lisa (September 11, 2015). "In Fresno, 'Unprecedented Increase' in ER Visits Due to Rough Fire". KQED. San Francisco. Retrieved September 13, 2015.
  8. ^ "Evacuation Orders and Warnings Lifted". InciWeb. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  9. ^ "Rough Fire Update AM September 15, 2015". InciWeb. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  10. ^ "Top 20 Largest California Wildfires" (PDF). Cal Fire. Retrieved September 11, 2015.