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News Release

#FernLakeFire Update December 4 @ 9:00 a.m.

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Department: Sheriff
Release Date: Dec 4, 2012

Contact Information:

Larimer County Sheriff's Office
John Schulz, Public Information Officer
Issued by Fern Lake Fire Information

 Fern Lake Fire Update

For Immediate Release: December 4, 2012, 9 a.m.

Public Information:    970-577-3716  www.inciweb.org and  www.larimer.org

(Joint Information Center Open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.)
 
 
FIRE FACTS 
Date started: October 9, 2012
Location: Rocky Mountain National Park
Size: 3,750 acres (Current estimate due to better mapping)
Percent Contained: 40%
Cause: Under Investigation
Structures threatened: 1,000
Structures lost: 1
Injuries to Date: None
Cost to Date: $1.9 million
Number of Personnel: 250
Crews: 3
Engines: 42
Water Tenders: 11
Helicopters: 3
 
TODAY'S EVENTS  
 
Firefighters are constructing a handline east of Steep Mountain across the South Lateral Moraine down to Hallowell Park. This will serve as the first line of defense if the fire were to move east, in addition to another defensive line already constructed along Bear Lake Road. Operations Section Chief Rod Collins commented this morning that the intention of firefighters is to "crush" this area of the fire. All lines have successfully held the fire despite heavy winds Sunday night, with only a few spot fires outside the lines. The fire remains within the boundaries of Rocky Mountain National Park.Structure assessments will continue in evacuated areas, with engines patrolling and watching for any fire activity.  
 
The priorities of fire managers continue to be firefighter and public safety, incident stabilization and control of the fire perimeter to keep it from spreading beyond the park boundaries, so that residents can return when it is safe.  
 
The east side of Rocky Mountain National Park via Beaver Meadows Entrance and Fall River Entrance is closed. The Fall River Visitor Center remains open.  
 
EVACUATIONS AND CLOSURES
 

Sheriff Justin Smith and Fern Lake Fire managers announced Monday evening that tentative plans are in place to allow some residents from the Highway 66 evacuation area to return home on Wednesday morning, December 5 at 9 a.m.

 
Officials hope to open the Highway 66 evacuation area from Highway 36 up to and including Aspen Brook Drive. This area would be placed on pre-evacuation status.
 
Highway 36 to the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center in Rocky Mountain National Park would also open at this time. The east side of Rocky Mountain National Park via Beaver Meadows Entrance and Fall River Entrance is closed, although Fall River Visitor Center remains open.
Homes and businesses on Highway 66 beyond Aspen Brook Drive will continue to remain evacuated until conditions allow their return.
 
These plans are only tentative and could change based on fire and weather conditions at the time.
There will be no change to the existing areas that are currently on pre-evacuation status. These areas include the High Drive and adjacent streets area and the Mary's Lake Road area from Moraine Avenue and Rock Ridge Road south to Highway 7 and Fish Creek Road.
 
Residents in the pre-evacuation areas are asked to remain vigilant and be prepared to leave at a moment's notice.
Sign up for emergency notifications at www.leta911.org.  Changes in current evacuation and pre-evacuation orders are also made through reverse notification.  
 
 
Highway 66, including all adjacent streets, remains in evacuation. Electrical power is still on in the area. Residents of Marys Lake Road from Moraine Avenue and Rock Ridge Road south to Highway 7 and Fish Creek Road are in pre-evacuation status and should be ready to leave if they receive an evacuation notice. Residents of High Drive and adjacent streets are also on pre-evacuation notice.  These must present identification at the High Drive road block.   
 
The evacuation center is Mountain View Bible Fellowship, at 1575 South Saint Vrain Ave. /Highway 7, at the corner of Peak View Drive.  The cooperating agencies, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army are staffing this evacuation center.  Information is provided to evacuees on site.  Large animals may be taken to the Stanley Park Fairgrounds at 1209 Manford Ave.
 
INCIDENT INFORMATION SOURCES AND BRIEFINGS
 
Community/evacuee meetings are scheduled at 5 p.m. at Estes Park Town Hall until all evacuees have returned home. These meetings have been tentatively scheduled through Friday, Dec. 7, with media briefings following at approximately 6 p.m. Additional media briefings are scheduled for 10 a.m. at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center each day based on the incident status.  
 
Information on this fire is available at  www.inciweb.org and  www.larimer.org and on Twitter @inciweb, and @larimersheriff and #FernLakeFire. The public information line is 970-577-3716 and the media Information line is 970-577-3718. Lines are staffed 8 a.m. until 10 p.m.
 
Background Image: Rocky Mountain National Park by Sue Burke. All rights reserved.