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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 has grown to 660 acres according to fire officials and remains uncontained as of noon today. Changes in the fire's behavior today have been minimal and fire officials are taking a deliberative approach to managing this fire. The fire was estimated to be about 400 acres in size yesterday. No structures are threatened by the fire.
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, prohibiting direct attack by firefighters on the ground. More than 90 personnel, seven fire engines, and two heavy helitankers are focusing today on containing the fire inside park boundaries north of Glacier Creek, west of Hollowell Park and south of Trail Ridge Road. Containment efforts also include the coordination of strategic water drops and the planning of long range fire suppression tactics.
The continued safety of visitors and firefighters and the achievement of containment objectives remain the top priorities of park and fire officials.
Currently, Bear Lake Road, Upper Beaver Meadows Road and Moraine Park Campground are closed. In addition, to ensure visitor safety and to protect park resources, all park trails accessed from Bear Lake Road and Highway 66 have been closed, as are trails south of Trail Ridge Road including the Ute Trail. Trail Ridge Road remains open.
Due to fire conditions at Rocky Mountain National Park, smoking and open fires in the park's backcountry are now prohibited.
A cold front is expected to pass through the area of the fire later today and there is a chance of precipitation on Friday, October 12. High temperatures in the upper 50s are predicted in the park with westerly winds from 7 to 11 m.p.h.
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 made public as it becomes available.
For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park, please call the park's Information Office at (970) 586-1206.