Hume Lake, an 87-acre fresh water reservoir located in the Sequoia National Forest is being drained in the height of fire season without warning to residents in the region. Based on local sources, the lake started to drain on Friday, October 2, and the valve at the east side of the dam was wide open on Friday, October 2.
Both the Sequoia Complex Fire and the Creek Fire are burning in the region, and residents are concerned about the sudden drop of water levels. During the lighting caused Rough Fire of 2015 that devastated the region, the lake was used as a source for water dropping helicopters.
The draining of the lake comes after the Sequoia National Forest has partially opened after four weeks of emergency closures due to California wildfires and wildfire risk. The lake and trail was closed due to the USFS closure. Today, the National Forest announced a partial opening of the Sequoia National Forest which includes the area at Hume Lake.
The mile-high lake is normally a source of recreation for hiking, fishing, hunting, and for use by the local Hume Lake Christian Camps on the west side of the lake. Hume Lake Campground is to the north of the lake, and a government subdivision of cabins is to the south. The area is a popular spot as it sits between Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
The lake is under the authority of the Sequoia National Forest. According to the Forest Service Website, “National forests supply 50 percent of the water in California and form the watershed of most major aqueducts and more than 2,400 reservoirs throughout the state.”
The Sequoia King has contacted the Public Affairs Officer for the Sequoia National Forest & Giant Sequoia National Monument Forest and Hume Lake and is waiting on a public comment.