The InciWeb page for the Big Meadows Fire is reporting tonight that closures will be lifted at 8:00 AM tomorrow, Saturday, June 15th, for five of the seven previously closed trailheads within the vicinity of the Big Meadows Fire. Trails that will open include: the two Tonahutu Spur Trails (one beginning at the Kawuneeche Visitor Center, the other near the North Inlet trailhead), the Grand Lake Lodge Spur Trail, the Timber Lake Trail, and the trail which branches toward Mount Ida from Milner Pass.
The Timber Lake Trail will be open for day use only. Closures remain in effect for the Onahu Trail, the Green Mountain Trail, and the lower Tonahutu Trail. Trail closures do affect a section of the Continental Divide Trail that passes through the park.
This afternoon, fire crews conducted a burnout operation to strengthen fire lines and reduce fuels along the southern flank of the fire in the Tonahutu Creek drainage. Smoke was visible in the communities of Estes Park, Grand Lake, and Granby. The objective of the firing operation was to prevent movement of the fire to the south, across the Tonahutu Creek. Acreage of the fire will likely expand following tonight's flight to map the fire using thermal imagery. Initial assessments indicate that the firing operation successfully strengthened the southern flank of the fire.
The fire remains at 353 acres in size, and is 30% contained.