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News Release

#FernLakeFire Update for December 11 at 9:00 a.m.

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Department: Sheriff
Release Date: Dec 11, 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 11, 2012, 9 a.m.
Public Information: 970-235-1162
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: believed to have been associated with an illegal campfire in lower Forest Canyon. The investigation remains open.
Structures lost: 1
Injuries to Date: None
Cost to Date: $6.3 million
Number of Personnel: 148
Crews: 2 (A crew typically consists of 20 firefighters.)
Engines: 5
Helicopters: 2
Responsibility for fire suppression was returned to a local Type III organization from the Type I Team at 6 p.m. last evening. The Incident Command Post and other functions have moved into Rocky Mountain National Park. As listed above there are still numerous firefighters working on the fire and the rehabilitation work that needs to be done. Firefighters will continue working until there is no concern of the fire escaping its containment lines and needed rehabilitation work has been completed.
Firefighters are focusing on rehabilitation of specific fire areas affected by fire suppression activities. Extremely cold temperatures kept most firefighters from the fireline because of safety concerns.
If weather conditions allow, fire crews will work toward 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.
Firefighters will hike in to the southwest flank from Fern Lake Trailhead in the area of Cub Lake and Spruce Canyon to assess what suppression work can be accomplished in that area. If wind and snow create unsafe working conditions, firefighters will again leave the fire area and stage, remaining available for a three-minute response.
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 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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