October 14, 2012
Contact: Traci Weaver
The Fern Lake Fire, located west of Fern Lake Trailhead, received some light rain and snow yesterday. This much needed precipitation aided firefighters in their efforts; however it was not enough to extinguish the smoldering fire. Firefighters have established contingency firelines on the north and east sides using hiking trails and rocky ridges. Firefighters continue to make progress and the fire is now five percent contained. The extended weather forecast is for a warming and drying trend. As it warms up, fire activity within the fire perimeter could increase resulting in visible smoke.
Firefighters will continue to patrol and scout the perimeter and work towards containment. Nine fire engines, 144 personnel, and one light helicopter are assigned to the fire. Some of these resources will be released to their home districts today due to decreased fire behavior. The continued safety of visitors and firefighters coupled with the containment of the fire within park boundaries remain the top priorities of park management and fire officials. The fire continues to be managed with a full suppression strategy. The fire is burning in steep, rugged terrain that includes beetle-kill trees which prohibit direct attack by firefighters on the ground.
Upper Beaver Meadows Road and Moraine Park Campground are closed. Bear Lake Road has reopened; however Fern Lake Road is still closed. To ensure visitor safety and to protect park resources, all park trails and areas accessed from north and west (right side) of Bear Lake Road remain closed, including the Cub Lake Trail, the Fern Lake Trail, Hollowell Park Trail, Bierstadt Trail, Bear Lake to Fern Lake Trail, as are trails south of Trail Ridge Road including Ute Trail. Flattop Trail is open, but access is closed to Fern Lake and Bierstadt trails. Violation of the closure notice will result in citation and fine up to $500. Hikers may still access Nymph, Emerald and Dream lakes. Due to inclement weather and poor driving conditions, Trail Ridge Road is temporarily closed at Many Parks Curve on the east side and Colorado River Trailhead on the west side.
Information about the fire can also be found at www.inciweb.org, and by calling the recorded fire information number (970) 586-1381. New information about the Fern Lake Fire will be released as it becomes available. Photos of the fire can be viewed and downloaded at http://goo.gl/TrhaK.