Saturday, December 1, 2012

Fern Lake Fire more than doubles in size in last 24 hours

Firefighters continue to hold the Fern Lake Fire within the boundaries of Rocky Mountain National Park. Mapped at 3,584 acres today, the fire and has more than doubled in size, compared to 1515 acres on Saturday.

The fire spread approximately 3 miles in 35 minutes during the early morning hours of December 1st. One local report stated that "the blaze fueled by winds gusting to 75 mph consumed all of Moraine Park overnight, a mostly grassy area of roughly 600 acres".

There is no estimation of containment at this time. Fire managers are cautiously optimistic regarding management of the fire as winds were not as extreme today as they were overnight. Right now, the majority of Estes Park is unaffected by the fire.

Smoke from the blaze has been impacting the area especially during the evening hours. Approximately 150 personnel are working on the fire and more resources are on the way. Crews will monitor the fire throughout the night. No injuries have been reported. Only one private cabin is confirmed lost in Moraine Park, within Rocky Mountain National Park.

A Type I Incident Management Team will assume responsibility for Fern Lake Fire management on Sunday afternoon. Multiple resources are on order including Hot Shot crews, additional engines, two additional type I helicopters, and all available local resources. Two heavy air tankers are on order however, they were not able to fly today due to the weather conditions in California where they are stationed. Air support assigned to the fire was not used today due to gusty winds. Structure protection is being provided by many local Fire Departments. Cooperating lead agencies are the National Park Service, Larimer County Sheriff's Department, the Town of Estes Park and the Estes Valley Fire Protection District.

The east side of Rocky Mountain National Park via Beaver Meadows Entrance and Fall River Entrance remains closed. The Fall River Visitor Center, however, is open.

Approximately 1100 contacts for approximately 700 properties were made through reverse notification today. Currently, approximately 681 of those contacts are still evacuated along Hwy 66. The remainder of those contacts have since been reduced to pre-evacuation status. Pre-evacuation means that residents should be prepared to evacuate at any moment.

For the latest updates on the fire, visit the Inciweb website. To keep up with the latest weather related developments and forecasts, please click here.


No comments: