More Resources Arrive as Fern Lake Fire Grows to 1,488 Acres
Incident: Fern Lake Wildfire
For Immediate Release: 1 p.m., November 28, 2012
Estes Park, CO - More firefighters continue to arrive to help suppress the stubborn Fern Lake Fire that has been burning since Oct. 9 in Rocky Mountain National Park. Today's weather did not prompt a Red Flag Warning, but winds are again strong enough that the helitanker had to cease operations around 11:30 a.m. after dropping several loads of water on active fire in the Spruce Creek drainage. The fire has grown to an estimated 1,488 acres, still primarily on the west and southwest side of the fire in Forest Canyon and near the confluence of Forest and Spruce canyons.
Today fire crews are working on a quarter-acre spotfire about a quarter mile west of the one they suppressed yesterday. An additional nine firefighters are hiking in to support them, and other resources, including a type 6 wildland engine and crew, are arriving and getting briefed on the fire. By tomorrow afternoon, about 30 additional fire personnel will be assigned to the fire.
The Fern Lake Fire is being managed under a full-suppression strategy. Due to steep terrain, hazard trees and heavy fuel loading, fire managers opted to attack the fire on their terms, when the risk is more acceptable. Fire crews are accessing the fire from the Fern Lake Trail and avoiding areas that have an abundance of hazard trees. Their objective is to keep the fire on the north side of the Spruce Creek drainage and to suppress any spot fires that ignite to the south or east of the active fire area.
The continued safety of visitors and firefighters and the containment of the fire in the park remain the top priorities of park and fire officials. A fire and smoking ban is in effect until further notice in the backcountry of the park, east of the Continental Divide. Moraine Park Campground remains open and campfires in grates are allowed. Use of fire anywhere in the area should be used with extreme caution. For visitor safety, trails in the immediate area of western Moraine Park and the fire are closed to hikers. This includes Fern Lake Road beyond the winter parking lot, Fern Lake Trail all the way to Lake Helene (by The Pool, Fern Falls, Fern Lake, Odessa Lake to Helene), the Cub Lake Trail from the trailhead to The Pool and the Mill Creek Trail from the Mill Creek Basin campsites to the Cub Lake Trail. Visitors who ignore trail closures will be issued a citation. Trails are posted and physically closed.
Information about the fire is available at www.inciweb.org, on the park's website at www.nps.gov/romo and by dialing (970) 586-1381, a recorded fire information number. New information about the Fern Lake Fire will be released as it becomes available. For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park, please call the park's Information Office at (970) 586-1206 or visit www.nps.gov/romo.