Thousands Flee 48-Square-Mile Rough Fire in Mountains East of Fresno

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A wildfire burning in the Sierra National Forest has jumped a river and highway and forced thousands of people near Hume Lake to flee, authorities said Wednesday.

Encouraged by days of warm weather and low humidity, the Rough fire has pushed south across thousands of acres this week as crews try to battle the flames up and down steep hillsides and over isolated ridge tops.

The area is extremely difficult to navigate on foot, and firefighters have had to pick and choose their locations — some areas of the fire cannot be attacked directly because there are no escape routes, the U.S. Forest Service said.

The fire has burned 30,901 acres Wednesday morning and was 3% contained. It has grown by 7,000 acres since Tuesday, the Forest Service said.

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