Rough Fire Update – August 21

The status of the fire is relatively unchanged since our last update. Park officials remain very confident that Wilsonia is not in immediate danger, and praised the “donut” of defensible space around Wilsonia and Grant Grove.

A back-burn ignited near Hume Lake yesterday has helped crews establish a more defensible space against the path of the fire. This significantly increased smoke in the area and enlarged the plume of smoke you may have seen from the Valley yesterday.

Air quality is the primary concern for park officials right now. This was the major reason behind the closure of Grant Grove lodging yesterday. Air quality in Grant Grove has been measured as very unhealthy due to smoke, and has reached hazardous levels overnight. Everyone in the village should avoid prolonged, heavy exertion. Older adults, people with heart or lung disease, and children should remain indoors and keep activity levels low. https://www.dropbox.com/s/qqpblsmxg4st7sr/roughfirearareport_082115.pdf?dl=0

At the meeting this afternoon, fire officials recommended a couple of actions:

Sign up for AlertTC, if you have not already. Multiple agencies have partnered with Tulare County to use their emergency alert system, including the Park Service. Sign up here: http://www.alerttc.com/alerttc/

Cabin owners should “prepare for success” in this event. If you haven’t done adequate defensible space cleaning around your property, it is not too late to do so. If you choose to do additional cleaning around your cabin, please be cautious of the air quality, and avoid over-exerting yourself.

Finally, park and fire officials were asked at this afternoon’s meeting about possible evacuation procedures. We were told that in the event of an evacuation, residents will be given ample time between an evacuation warning and a mandatory evacuation order. If you choose to come to Wilsonia and collect a few sentimental items from your cabin for peace of mind, now is a good time to do so, as Wilsonia is not currently under any access restrictions.

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