Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Spruce Fire in Rocky Mountain National Park Fully Contained

As of Tuesday, July 1st, fire crews have made great progress and have fully contained the Spruce Fire in Rocky Mountain National Park.

The fire is located roughly 1500 feet northwest of Fern Lake, between Spruce Lake and Fern Lake. Located roughly 4 miles from the Fern Lake Trailhead, the fire is burning in a rugged, forested area that has not burned in over 250 years, so there are heavy fuels. Numerous beetle-killed trees has added to the hazards for firefighters.

Firefighters focused their efforts on putting out numerous spot fires that occurred from high winds on Monday. Crews packed hoses into the backcountry. The helicopter flew multiple slingloads bringing in portable pumps and more hose for firefighters to set up a large hoselay system. This system allowed firefighters to effectively use water to extinguish the fire.

Twenty-eight firefighters stayed overnight near the Spruce Fire. Tuesday's weather was favorable with higher humidity and less wind. The fire was contained at roughly 1 acre. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Crews will continue mop up efforts today further reducing the heat in the area of the fire. Most crew members will hike out by the end of the day. Fire managers will keep a small crew of firefighters overnight to further monitor the area for potential spot fires that might have gone undetected.

Currently, access to the area is closed to hikers past The Pool on the Fern Lake Trail and the section of trail from Lake Helene to Fern Lake from the Bear Lake area. The Fern Lake Road is closed to vehicles. Additionally, Upper Beaver Meadows Road is closed due to helicopter operations. These closures are expected to be lifted tomorrow.


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