Release Date: Dec 3, 2012
Larimer County Sheriff's Office
John Schulz, Public Information Officer
Fern Lake Fire Information Center
Due to the hard work of firefighters, high winds in the Fern Lake Fire area did not cause the fire to spread any closer to Estes Park, and it is still contained within Rocky Mountain National Park boundaries. Approximately 150 firefighters and 19 engines worked on the Fern Lake Fire overnight. Spot fires continue to burn in the Steep Mountain area and crews continue working to keep it from moving further to the south. Structure protection crews are still stationed along Bear Lake Road to try to keep the fire within the park.
The fire management team is optimistic about the fire after fire lines held last night in spite of heavy winds. Forecasted weather conditions are also favorable with cooler temperatures in the mid-30s to low 40s and lighter winds for today. Calm winds are expected tonight. Today an air tanker is available and will help support firefighting efforts if wind conditions allow. Helitankers will also fly if winds allow.
Approximately 250 personnel are currently working on the fire and more resources are on the way. No injuries have been reported. Only one private cabin is confirmed lost in Moraine Park, within the park. The fire is approximately 4,400 acres and if weather conditions allow, there will be an infrared flight to map and estimate the fire size more accurately today. The last containment estimate for the fire is 20 percent.
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 residents may be allowed to re-enter when it is safe for them to do so. Smoke from the fire has been impacting the area especially during the evening hours. Structure protection is being provided by many local Fire Departments. Cooperating lead agencies are the National Park Service, Larimer County Sheriff’s Department, the Town of Estes Park and the Estes Valley Fire Protection District.
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.
Residents should be aware that pre-evacuation and evacuation notices could be expanded. Sign up for emergency notifications at www.leta911.org. Changes in current evacuation and pre-evacuation orders are also made through reverse notification.
No changes in evacuation or pre-evacuation orders have been made since Saturday. The scope and necessity of evacuations is continuously evaluated. At this time, only individuals with a medical necessity are allowed to re-enter the evacuation area of the Highway 66 corridor with an escort from the Sheriff’s office. The Highway 66 corridor, 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. Pre-evacuation means that residents should be ready to leave if they receive an evacuation notice.
Residents of High Drive and adjacent streets are also on pre-evacuation notice. The residents in this area must present identification to law enforcement at the High Drive road block. No others will be allowed in the area.
The evacuation center is located at the Mountain View Bible Fellowship, located 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
Today there will be an evacuee briefing at the Mountain View Bible Fellowship shelter at 10 a.m. A media briefing will take place at 10 a.m. at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center.
Information on this fire is available at www.inciweb.org and www.larimer.org and on Twitter @inciweb and #FernLakeFire. The public information line is 970-577-3716 (Open 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Dec. 3). The media Information line: 970-577-3718 (Open 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. Dec. 3)