Fern Lake Update - December 7 Pm
Incident: Fern Lake Wildfire
Fern Lake Fire UpdateFor Immediate Release: December 7, 2012, 9 p.m.Public Information: 970-586-2333 (ext 473 or 474) Media Information: 970-586-2333 (ext 452)www.inciweb.org/, www.larimer.org/, www.nps.gov/romo(Information Center open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
Date started: October 9, 2012Location: Rocky Mountain National ParkSize: 3,498 acresPercent Contained: 45Cause: Under InvestigationStructures threatened: 750Structures lost: 1 Injuries to Date: NoneCost to Date: $5.4 millionNumber of Personnel: 504Crews: 16 (A crew consists of 20 firefighters.)Engines: 17Water Tenders: 1Helicopters: 5
This will be the last evening update unless there are significant changes. We will continue to release a morning update daily.
Much cooler temperatures with light snow showers greeted firefighters this morning as fire suppression activities continued. The fire is 45 percent contained, reflecting the excellent work safely performed by the 504 firefighters assigned to this incident. Snow accumulations averaging 2 inches over the fire will effectively prevent any further fire spread, although the fire will continue to smolder in heavy fuels.
Today, crews finished removing materials cleared from the Bear Lake Road and removed much of the fire hose used to protect homes in the evacuated areas.
Crews and equipment are being demobilized as fire suppression objectives are met.
Firefighter and public safety remain the top priority while suppressing the fire within the boundaries of Rocky Mountain National Park. Smoke and possibly open flames will be visible for an extended period. This smoke comes from well within the burned area and poses no threat of escape from containment lines.
A Colorado Army National Guard helicopter and crew remain on standby for rescue operations. A UH-60 Black Hawk, with a crew of four soldiers and a medic, are based at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo., ready to respond from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
EVACUATIONS AND CLOSURES
Based on reduced fire danger, the Larimer County Sheriff and fire managers today allowed all remaining evacuees to return to their homes. Residents who returned today will be on pre-evacuation notice through Saturday.
Rocky Mountain National Park officials have opened the park on a limited basis. Visitors may enter the park through Highway 34, the Fall River Entrance, and Highway 36, the Beaver Meadows Entrance. Weather permitting, the road will be open to Many Parks Curve, the normal winter closure point on Trail Ridge Road. Bear Lake Road will remain closed until further notice because of fire operations. Upper Beaver Meadows, Hidden Valley, and trails leading into the area around the Fern Lake Fire remain closed. Beaver Meadows Visitor Center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Fall River Visitor Center is open weekends from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For additional information, visit www.nps.gov/romo or call the Park Information Office at 970-586-1206 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. daily.
INCIDENT INFORMATION SOURCESNo further public information briefings are planned unless conditions change. Information on the Fern Lake Fire is available at www.inciweb.org/, www.larimer.org/, and www.nps.gov/romo and on Twitter @inciweb, @larimersheriff, @RMNPofficial and #FernLakeFire. Sign up for emergency notifications at www.leta911.org/.