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Colorado: Fern Lake Fire uncontained at 660 acres but incoming weather could help firefighters gain upper hand

Smoke from the Fern Lake Fire as seen from Moraine Park campground. Photo courtesy Ann Schonlau/NPS.

Some park roads and trails remain closed

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Firefighters battling the uncontained 660-acre Fern Lake Fire in Rocky Mountain National Park should get a little help from the weather, with some significant moisture forecast to move through the area Friday night.

The fire is burning west of the Fern Lake Trailhead on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park. A national fire management team took over command at the fire Friday, as park officials announced a full suppression strategy for fighting the fire.

Crews continued working on a contingency fire line in the Upper Beaver Meadows area for a potential burnout operation to stop fire spread to the north and east. They will only conduct the burnout if the fire becomes established in the Windy Gap and Beaver Mountain areas.

The fire is burning in steep, rugged terrain that includes beetle-killed trees, preventing firefighters from making a direct attack on the ground. More than 90 personnel, seven fire engines, and one heavy helitanker are focusing on keeping the fire inside park boundaries north of Glacier Creek, west of Hollowell Park and south of Trail Ridge Road. Containment efforts also include the coordination of strategic water drops and the planning of long range fire suppression tactics.

The Bear Lake Road, Upper Beaver Meadows Road and Moraine Park Campground are closed. Additionally, all park trails accessed from Bear Lake Road and Highway 66 have been closed. Trails south of Trail Ridge Road including the Ute Trail. Trail Ridge Road remains open.

Information about the fire can also be found at InciWeb, and by calling the recorded fire information number (970) 586-1381. New information about the Fern Lake Fire will be made public as it becomes available.

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