Fire Crews Make Slow, Steady Progress on Fern Lake Fire
Contact: Traci Weaver, 970-586-1435
Firefighters made progress on about a half mile-stretch of fireline on the southwest side of the fire near the confluence of Spruce and Forest canyons. The crews set up pumps to draw water from Spruce Creek to aid in suppression efforts. They continued "mopping up" spot fires and scouting out where they can build fire line connecting natural barriers to check the spread to the south and east of the current active fire area.
The fire was mapped Wednesday at approximately 1,488 acres, still primarily on the west and southwest side of the fire in Forest Canyon and near the confluence of Forest and Spruce canyons. About 60 personnel are now assigned to the fire.
The Fern Lake Fire is being managed under a full-suppression strategy. Due to steep terrain, hazard trees and heavy fuel loading, fire managers opted to attack the fire on their terms, when the risk is more acceptable. Fire crews are accessing the fire from the Fern Lake Trail and avoiding areas that have an abundance of hazard trees. Their objective is to keep the fire on the north side of the Spruce Creek Drainage and to suppress any spot fires that ignite to the south or east of the active fire area.
The continued safety of visitors and firefighters and the containment of the fire in the park remain the top priorities of park and fire officials. A fire and smoking ban is in effect until further notice in the backcountry of the park, east of the Continental Divide. Moraine Park Campground remains open and campfires in grates are allowed. Use of fire anywhere in the area should be used with extreme caution.
For visitor safety, trails in the immediate area of western Moraine Park and the fire are closed to hikers. This includes Fern Lake Road beyond the winter parking lot, Fern Lake Trail all the way to Lake Helene (by The Pool, Fern Falls, Fern Lake, Odessa Lake to Helene), the Cub Lake Trail from the trailhead to The Pool and the Mill Creek Trail from the Mill Creek Basin campsites to the Cub Lake Trail. Visitors who ignore trail closures will be issued a citation. Trails are posted and physically closed.
Information about the fire is available at InciWeb, or by dialing (970) 586-1381, a recorded fire information number. New information about the Fern Lake Fire will be released as it becomes available. For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park, please call the park's Information Office at (970) 586-1206.
Did You Know?
In 2004 there were 190 Search and Rescue incidents in the park, a very small number considering there were about 3 million visitors to the park in that same time period.