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Type: Report
Author(s): Carol M. Ewell; Mark Courson; Nick Jeros; Alicia L. Reiner; Chelsea Morgan; Katherine Napier; Matthew B. Dickinson; Michael R. Gallagher; Robert L. Kremens; Nicole M. Vaillant
Publication Date: 2016

This report contains the results of a two week assessment of fire behavior, vegetation and fuel loading, consumption, and fire effects for the 2015 Rough Fire. The lightning-caused fire started on July 31st, 2015 on the north side of the Kings river, at about 5 miles North of Hume Lake and 2.5 miles to the southwest of Spanish Mountain, in a difficult to access area on Sierra National Forest in California. Over the course of the few weeks the fire spread rapidly upslope in response to the warm, dry and windy weather, and “jumped” south over the Kings River on Aug. 18th. The steep, rugged terrain and lack of roads made access and management of the fire difficult. On Sept. 11th the Rough Fire had grown to an approximate size of 129,754 acres (Figure 2) with major portions of the perimeter effectively contained. Eventually, the 151,643 acre Rough Fire burned within the Sierra National Forest (58,541 ac), the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument (82,573 ac), Kings Canyon National Park (9,413 ac), CA state and private lands (1,096 ac), and was categorized as contained on Nov. 6th. Fuels and vegetation plots and fire behavior equipment were installed at 19 locations in the vicinity of the Rough Fire, with 12 plots burned by the fire, and a couple remained in unburned islands within the fire’s perimeter. FBAT installed plots between the dates of Aug. 17 to 30th. Plots were burned starting Aug. 19th and over the next couple of weeks due to varying fire behavior, terrain conditions, management strategies, and geographic spread of the fire and our plots. Fuels in the Rough Fire Area consisted primarily of pine and mature mixed shrub below 4500 feet elevation, with mixed conifer and montane shrub above 4500 feet elevation. The southern half of the Rough Fire burned towards the footprint of the 2010 Sheep Fire, and west into Converse Basin, Mill Creek, and Grant Grove. Live fuel loadings in this area were generally lighter with dead fuel loadings and snag occurrence generally higher.

Online Links
Link to this document (6.0 MB; pdf)
Citation: Ewell, Carol M. et al. 2015. 2015 Rough Fire, Sierra and Sequoia National Forests and Kings Canyon National Park: Fire Behavior Assessment Team Summary Report. USDA Forest Service Fire Behavior Assessment Team. 43 p.

Cataloging Information

  • 2015 Rough Fire
  • California
  • Fresno County
  • Sierra National Forest
Record Last Modified:
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 63927