The California Rough wildfire stampeded toward Hume Lake this week, forcing thousands of people to flee from area cabins and campgrounds.
The 32,000-acre Sierra Nevada wildfire has been burning since July 31 when lightning struck an area in the Rough Creek drainage, the U.S. Forest Service said
. It was just 3 percent contained on Thursday and more than 1,000 firefighters were fighting the blaze, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The Times said more than 2,500 people evacuated campgrounds near Sequoia National Forest’s Hume Lake this week, some from the Hume Lake Christian Camp that operates year-round.
The Christian camp posted updates on its website
, the most recent from Thursday that said the fire appeared to slow some that night as cooler temperatures moved in. Firefighters were remaining at the camp to try to protect buildings there. A webcam located on the website
shows the thick smoke blanketing the area on Friday, though the smoke cleared some Thursday after light winds picked up.
The Times posted an update Thursday of multiple wildfires plaguing California, including the River Complex fire that’s burned 48,000 acres.
Statewide, more than 11,000 firefighters have been battling the wildfires, according to KCRA.
The massive outlay of manpower is stressing the U.S. Forest Service.
“Fire seasons are growing longer, hotter, more unpredictable and more expensive every year, and there is no end in sight. Within just 10 years, two out of every three dollars the Forest Service gets from Congress will be spent on fire programs, which leaves much fewer resources for the very restoration projects that have been proven to reduce the risk of wildfire and improve forest health,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a release
. “We are at a tipping point.”
Wildfires are raging in Washington state and Oregon, as well. NBC News reported that 70 firefighting
experts from Australia were journeying to the United States to help fight the fires. Three firefighters were killed this week while fighting a Washington blaze.
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