Fresh snow is helping to contain the Fern Lake Fire. As of this morning, the fire is 60% contained. With additional accumulations expected today, ranging from 1 to 2 inches, more progress can be expected. As a result of better mapping, the fire is estimated to be 3498 acres in size.
Cold temperatures with heavy snow later in the day, forced firefighters from the fireline because of safety concerns. Snow accumulations were 4 to 6 inches in the fire area. The snow cover will prevent further spread, although the fire will continue to smolder in heavy fuels. Crews removed debris created by fire line construction along the northeast perimeter, and removed fire hose laid out to protect structures in, and in the vicinity of, the YMCA. Crews and equipment continue to be demobilized, as fire suppression objectives are met. Adequate firefighting resources are being retained to continue suppression efforts, if fire behavior increases.
All pre-evacuation and evacuation orders have been lifted and all residents have been allowed to return to their homes.
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. and Fall River Visitor Center is open weekends from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For additional information call the park Information Office at 970-586-1206 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. daily.
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.
Here's a look at the fire several days ago as it burned in Forest Canyon. This NPS photo was recently published on the Inciweb website: