Church Camp: 250 Kids Forced To Evacuate Wildfire - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Church Camp: 250 Kids Forced To Evacuate Wildfire

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MADERA COUNTY, Calif. (KMPH) -

250 kids from a Fresno based church were forced to get on buses and get out fast, as the battle rages on against the Aspen Wildfire.

The fire is burning in both Fresno and Madera counties, inside the Sierra National Forest.

Hundreds of kids and about a dozen counselors were on a camping trip near Jackass Rock campground, east of the Mammoth Pools Reservoir.

However, the threat of flames jumping a river near the reservoir and heading to their campgrounds, forced rangers to tell the group to evacuate Thursday afternoon.

Each year Truth Tabernacle Church takes hundreds of kids but after Sunday's lighting storm started dozens of wildfires, the heavy smoke soon threatened the kids' safety.

Counselor Richard Guardado says, "We were getting ready to evacuate and the ranger came and said we have to leave by 5 o'clock today. We made sure we didn't loose any kids in the shuffle. The smoke started as light mist and then grew and the next thing it got pretty bad. We had some kids with asthma issues so we were monitoring them."

Parent, Mary Cepeda says, "I got a call at work. I was on a split shift at work and I was told to come up and get these kids."

She was one of many parents who made the trek up the mountain to help the kids leave.

Mary Cepeda says, "Right here the smoke it's not that bad, but up there at the camp it was really smoky."

Meanwhile, more than 2,500 acres has burned.

The fire remains out of control.

Madera County Sheriff deputies want to remind the public the closure of Stump Springs Road remains in effect and people need to stay out of the area.

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