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Contact: Kyle Patterson, (970) 586-1363
The Big Meadows Fire grew to an estimated 600 acres with no containment. Winds were not as strong today which resulted in less fire activity and spread. Firefighters conducted numerous recon flights which will be crucial in planning efforts. The fire is burning in remote, steep, rugged terrain with extensive hazards and more than 80 percent beetle killed trees. The plan continues to be to hold the fire east of Trail Ridge Road (Highway 34), west of the Continental Divide, and north of Tonahutu Creek. There are no structures or communities at immediate risk.
There are 107 firefighters currently on the Big Meadows Fire plus the Type II team who will be taking over command of the fire from the Boise Smokejumper Type III team tomorrow. Air resources include one Type I helicopter, one Type II helicopter and two Type III helicopters. Many firefighters will be camping out near the fire tonight to get an early morning start to continue with fire suppression tactics.
A challenge continues to be filling additional Type I crews. Due to other fires in Colorado, as well as in other states that are impacting communities and homes, resources are being spread across the nation.
Currently, there are seven trails that are temporarily closed in the area – the Onahu Trail, the Green Mountain Trail, the lower Tonahutu Trail, the Tonahutu Spur Trail, the Grand Lake Lodge Spur Trail, the Timber Lake Trail and the trail which branches toward Mount Ida from Milner Pass. All major roads and facilities in Rocky Mountain National Park are open as are our neighboring communities of Grand Lake and Estes Park.
The park has set up a recorded Fire Information Line at (970) 586-1381 which will be updated when new information on the Big Meadows Fire is available. For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park, please call the park's Information Office at (970) 586-1206.