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Contact: Bill Kight, Fire Information Officer, 720-219-4482
Contact: Clark McCreedy, Fire Information Officer, 720-219-4467
Contact: Kyle Patterson, RMNP Information Officer, 970-586-1363
This afternoon, fire crews conducted a burnout operation to strengthen fire lines and reduce fuels along the southern flank of the fire in the Tonahutu Creek drainage. Smoke was visible in the communities of Estes Park, Grand Lake, and Granby. The objective of the firing operation was to prevent movement of the fire to the south, across the Tonahutu Creek. Acreage of the fire will likely expand following tonight's flight to map the fire using thermal imagery. Initial assessments indicate that the firing operation successfully strengthened the southern flank of the fire.
In addition to support of the fire today, air operations from the Big Meadows Fire provided a helicopter to assist a search and rescue operation to transport an injured climber in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Fire-fighting resources on the fire tomorrow, June 15, will include an initial attack module of eight fire-fighters, four interagency 20-person Type I hotshot crews, and two fire engines. Available air resources include two 'air attack' small planes used for fire reconnaissance, two light helicopters, a medium helicopter, and one large heavy helicopter. A National Guard Blackhawk helicopter remains on standby to assist fire operations in the event of a medical emergency.
Closures will be lifted at 8:00 AM tomorrow, Saturday, June 15th, for five of the seven previously closed trailheads within the vicinity of the Big Meadows Fire. Trails that will open include: the two Tonahutu Spur Trails (one beginning at the Kawuneeche Visitor Center, the other near the North Inlet trailhead), the Grand Lake Lodge Spur Trail, the Timber Lake Trail, and the trail which branches toward Mount Ida from Milner Pass.
The Timber Lake Trail will be open for day use only. Closures remain in effect for the Onahu Trail, the Green Mountain Trail, and the lower Tonahutu Trail. Trail closures do affect a section of the Continental Divide Trail that passes through the park.
There remains no imminent threat to any communities or structures; Rocky Mountain National Park remains open. All major roads and facilities in Rocky Mountain National Park are open as are our neighboring communities of Grand Lake and Estes Park.
Additional information: On the web: www.inciweb.org. Twitter feed: @RM_InciTeamA NPS Fire Information Line: 970.586.1381