As expected yesterday with higher temperatures and low humidity, fire activity increased on the Fern Lake Fire in Rocky Mountain National Park. Winds remained too high to complete any bucket drops with the Type 1 helicopter that arrived in the park on Tuesday afternoon. Most of the fire activity was in the bottom of Forest Canyon along the west flank. Today with similar temperatures fire managers are expecting smoke like yesterday.
A reduced area closure is still in effect. Some parts of the closure area have been lifted. The Cub Lake Trail is now open, but the trail west of Cub Lake leading to The Pool is still closed. Fern Lake and Spruce Lake are now open but can only be accessed from the Bear Lake Trailhead.
Lower Fern Lake Trail from Moraine Park to the Fern Lake/Spruce Lake trail junction, including the areas known as The Pool and Fern Falls are closed. The Fern Lake Road (beyond the winter parking) is closed. All access to the Ute Trail is closed, including from Upper Beaver Meadows. The Beaver Mountain Trail is closed. Other trails leading into the fire area are closed and are posted. This closure will be in effect for the duration of the Fern Lake Fire. Violating the terms of these closures is subject to criminal prosecution.
Fire managers expect the fire to continue smoldering and creeping and putting up smoke until a significant snow event assists with firefighting efforts. The forecasted moisture for this weekend is not expected to accomplish this. The fire size is currently 1096 acres and is 30 percent contained. Fire managers expect to continue active monitoring, suppression as needed, and mop-up until the fire is completely out.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.