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Contact: Traci Weaver, 970-586-1435
The Fern Lake Fire is burning actively today, due to Red Flag conditions, including strong, gusty winds and single-digit relative humidity. The fire has spotted across Spruce Creek to the southern side, where fire crews are taking action on the ground. High winds have prohibited the use of the helitanker so far today. Smoke is heavier today and is visible from several places along the Front Range.
Due to increased fire activity and no relief in the weather forecast, the fire's incident commander has ordered more resources including a wildland engine and some overhead support.
The Fern Lake Fire, west of Moraine Park, is being managed with a full suppression strategy. It is burning in steep, rugged terrain that includes beetle-killed trees limiting direct attack by firefighters on the ground. It was mapped Saturday at approximately 1,370 acres.
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 will be updated in additional press releases and is also available at InciWeb and 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.