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News Release

#FernLakeFire Update for December 10 at 9:00 a.m.

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Department: Sheriff
Release Date: Dec 10, 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 10, 2012, 9 a.m.
Public Information: 970-586-2333 (ext 473 or 474) for Dec. 10  
Media Information: 970-586-2333 (ext.452) for Dec. 10      
(Joint Information Center open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), 
Date started: October 9, 2012
Location: Rocky Mountain National Park
Size: 3,498 acres
Percent Contained: 88
Cause: Under Investigation
Structures lost: 1
Injuries to Date: None
Cost to Date: $6.05 million
Number of Personnel: 189
Crews: 3 (A crew typically consists of 20 firefighters.)
Engines: 5
Helicopters: 2
Note:  The new fire information phone number starting Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 8 a.m. for both public and media, is 970-235-1162. Hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A community meeting will be held at the Estes Park Town Hall, 170 MacGregor Ave., on Monday, Dec. 10 at 5 p.m. Park officials and fire managers will provide information on current fire conditions and  what residents and visitors can expect to see in the fire area in the coming months. This meeting can be viewed live on local cable channel 12 and will be live streamed via the Town of Estes Park's website,
Limited backhaul of equipment from the fire line was accomplished.  Attention is now focusing on rehabilitation of specific fire areas.  Extremely cold temperatures kept most firefighters from the fireline because of safety concerns.  
All pre-evacuation and evacuation orders have been lifted and all residents have been allowed to return to their homes.
If weather conditions allow, fire crews will work towards meeting required rehabilitation standards.  For areas where fire line construction and fire line improvement occurred along trails, they will ensure that "low stumping", cutting stumps as low to the ground as possible, and limbing of trees, is accomplished to meet those standards. Firefighters will continue to document areas which require additional rehabilitation.
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.  These resources will also continue to work on rehabilitation needs created by fire line construction.
Fire supervisors may attempt to hike to the southwest flank from Fern Lake Trailhead Road to evaluate opportunities for control lines.
Most of the accessible fire perimeter remains in patrol and monitor status.
If wind and snow create unsafe working conditions, firefighters will again leave the fire area and stage in Estes Park, available for a three-minute response. Additional accumulations of snow ranging from 1 to 2 inches are expected, along with moderately high winds and extremely cold temperatures.
Management of the Fern Lake Fire will transition from the Type 1 Great Basin Team #2 to a local Type 3 team at 6 p.m. tonight.
Firefighter and public safety continue to remain the top priority while suppressing the Fern Lake Fire within the boundaries of Rocky Mountain National Park. Smoke and potentially open flames will be visible for an extended period. This smoke comes from well within the burned area and poses no threat of escape from containment lines.
The Town of Estes Park and its businesses are open for visitors and holiday shopping.
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. The road is 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, visit or call the park Information Office at 970-586-1206 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. daily.
Information on the Fern Lake Fire is available at, and and on Twitter @inciweb, @larimersheriff, @RMNPofficial and #FernLakeFire. Sign up for emergency notifications at
Note:  The new fire information phone number starting Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 8 a.m. for both public and media, is 970-235-1162. Hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  
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