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Wet Weather Helps Firefighters with Suppression Efforts

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Date: October 13, 2012
Contact: Traci Weaver, (970) 586-1381

The Fern Lake Fire located west of Fern Lake Trailhead on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park put up a column of smoke Friday morning due to burning pockets of unburned trees and deadfall. The total acreage of the fire remains at 660 acres and is 0% contained.

The low pressure weather system yesterday afternoon brought rain and snow to higher elevations. This much needed precipitation aided firefighters in their efforts; however it was not sufficient to extinguish the fire. The fire continues to smolder and creep. Today the cold front is expected to result in cooler temps, damp conditions, blustery winds and isolated snow showers. A clearing trend will emerge on Sunday resulting in warmer, drier weather and potentially increased fire activity.

Currently Upper Beaver Meadows Road and Moraine Park Campground are closed. Bear Lake Road will likely reopen later today; 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. 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.

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. More than 140 fire personnel, seven engines and a helicopter are focusing their efforts on keeping the fire within park boundaries. Fire crews continue to connect fire line with natural barriers in order to contain the fire. 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.

For up-to-date information regarding the fire please call (970) 586-1381 or visit Inciweb. For information about Rocky Mountain National Park please phone (970) 586-1206. New information regarding the fire will be made public when it becomes available.   

--NPS--

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