Firefighters made good progress yesterday after a night during which strong winds tested completed firelines. All lines successfully held with only a few spot fires outside the lines. The fire remains within the boundaries of Rocky Mountain National Park. Favorable weather conditions yesterday gave firefighters an opportunity to work on spot fires in the Steep Mountain area, using both ground and aerial resources. A handline is being constructed from the west side of Moraine Park along the southern portion of Steep Mountain in preparation for a possible burn-out to strengthen that section of the line. A feller-buncher (a machine that cuts and stacks trees) worked along the Bear Lake Road, helping to reduce the fuel load. Structure assessments continue in evacuated areas to the east and southeast of the fire area. Engines will patrol evacuated areas tonight to watch for any fire activity.
Date started: October 9, 2012
Location: Rocky Mountain National Park
Size: 3750 acres (yesterday this was reported to be 4400 acres)
Percent Contained: 40%
Cause: Under Investigation (purportedly from an illegal campfire)
Structures threatened: 1,000
Structures lost: 1
Injuries to Date: None
Cost to Date: $1.9 million
Number of Personnel: 250
Water Tenders: 11
The east side of Rocky Mountain National Park via Beaver Meadows Entrance and Fall River Entrance is still closed. The Fall River Visitor Center, however, remains open. Also, you can still access the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead, Lily Lake Trailhead, Longs Peak trails, and the Wild Basin area (although the Wild Basin road is closed at the winter parking lot). The west side of RMNP is also open. You can drive to the Colorado River Trailhead where you'll reach the winter closure point.
Here's an update from 7News in Denver as of last night that includes some film footage of fire suppression efforts yesterday:
For the latest updates on the fire, closings and community meetings, visit the Inciweb website. To keep up with the latest weather related developments and forecasts, please click here.