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Contact: Kyle Patterson, 970-586-1363
Update: Sunday afternoon September 19
The Onahu (on-a-who) Fire that started on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park on Saturday, forcing the closure of Trail Ridge Road, should be fully contained by late today according to fire managers on scene. Meanwhile, park managers have implemented additional fire restrictions for the park.
Trail Ridge Road opened to one-lane traffic at the site of the fire just before noon today allowing cross-park traffic to flow once again during a beautiful fall weekend. Fire fighting efforts, heavy smoke, and standing dead trees that threatened to fall across the road blocked traffic starting around 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
Crews responded from throughout the region and two Hot Shot crews arrived overnight to stop the fires spread and contain the fire at 40 acres. Ninety- percent of the fire burned in grass and shrubs. A water-dropping helicopter greatly aided suppression efforts on Saturday.
Crews began mopping up the fire, patrolling for spot fires outside the fire perimeter, and laying a hose line around the fire starting early today. The fire smoldered all day while fire fighters extinguished everything within 25 feet of the fire line. The fire did not threaten to advance. Crews will return tomorrow to continue to mop-up the fire, patrol the area, and ensure that the fire remains contained.
Rocky Mountain National Park always has fire restrictions in place. Due to high fire danger, additional restrictions are now in effect. Fires will only be allowed in designated fire grates. Only petroleum-fueled stoves and grills will be permitted in all designated backcountry campsites. Smoking is prohibited, except within enclosed vehicles, parking lots, or developed areas, such as campgrounds and picnic areas that are cleared of all flammable materials for at least three feet in diameter. Visitors are reminded to properly extinguish all lighted smoking materials. Fireworks are always prohibited within the park. These restrictions are in effect until further notice.
This will be the last update unless there is a significant change in events.