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Contact: James Doyle, 970-586-1363
A wildfire located west of the Fern Lake Trailhead on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park remains uncontained as of 4 p.m. today, and is advancing slowly in all directions as expected due to conditions and terrain. Because of turbulent air today, it was hard for fire officials to use general aircraft to make an accurate estimate of the size of the fire. The fire is believed to have burned about 400 acres.
The fire, west of Moraine Park, is burning in steep, rugged terrain that includes beetle-killed trees which prohibited direct attack by firefighters on the ground today. Around 65 firefighters were on scene and about 120 personnel and seven fire engines are expected to be available to fight the fire tomorrow. No structures are threatened by the fire.
A heavy helitanker joined the fire suppression efforts today, but was called off in the afternoon due to high winds. That helicopter and another helitanker are expected to be available tomorrow for fire suppression efforts. Weather conditions call for today's gusty westerly winds to diminish overnight. Overnight temperatures are expected to be 25-30 degrees. No rain is forecast for the area of the fire through the end of the week.
The continued safety of visitors and staff and the full suppression of the fire remain the top priorities of park and fire officials. Trail Ridge Road remains open.
Tonight, fire crews will continue to monitor the fire. As soon as possible on Thursday, fire crews will continue to work to contain the fire inside park boundaries, north of Glacier Creek, west of Hollowell Park and south of Trail Ridge Road.
Currently, Bear Lake Road, Upper Beaver Meadows Road and Moraine Park Campground are closed. Trails west of Bear Lake Road and south of Trail Ridge Road are also closed.
Smoke remains visible in Estes Park. Park staff are working closely with Larimer County and Town of Estes Park officials.
Due to fire conditions at Rocky Mountain National Park, smoking and open fires in the park's backcountry are now prohibited.
For more information please call the park's recorded fire information number at (970) 586-1381. For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park, please call the park's Information Office at (970) 586-1206.