Fern Lake Fire upgraded to Type 1 incident

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The Fern Lake Fire in Rocky Mountain National Park grew to nearly 3,600 acres Saturday, and containment dropped to just 20 percent. A Type 1 incident team is set to arrive to manage the fire response later on Sunday, Dec. 2.

Firefighters from the Arapahoe-Roosevelt National Forest, Estes Park Fire Protection District, Left Hand Fire Rescue and other local units have kept the fire, which has been burning since Oct. 9, contained within the borders of the park. About 150 personnel are on scene and more resources are on the way. No injuries have been reported, but one cabin has been reported lost.

The Beaver Meadows and Fall River Entrances to the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park are closed, although Fall River Visitor Center remains open. Trails throughout the east side of the park remain closed.

Residents in the Highway 66 corridor, including all adjacent streets, remained evacuated overnight. About 681 of the 1,100 reverse notifications sent on Saturday are in this area.

Residents of High Drive and adjacent streets were allowed to return home yesterday but remain on pre-evacuation alert and no one other than residents is allowed in the area. Residents on the west side of Mary’s Lake Road and all adjacent streets have also returned home on pre-evacuation alert, but there are no restrictions in the area.

The evacuation center will move from Estes Park High School to the Mountain View Bible Fellowship, 1575 S. St. Vrain Ave. (CO Highway 7) at the corner of Peak View Drive, at 5 p.m. on Sunday. This location will be used for sheltering and continued evacuee updates. Large animals may be taken to the Stanley Park Fairgrounds at 1209 Manford Ave.

The high winds that whipped the fire up Friday night and kept firefighting aircraft grounded Saturday have died down, but are expected to pick up later this afternoon with gusts up to 40 miles per hour.

The next briefing from Fern Lake Fire incident managers is scheduled for 10 a.m. Sunday in Estes Park.

The public information line for the Fern Lake Fire is 970-577-3716, and is staffed from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Updates will also be posted to inciweb.org/incident/3294/ and on Twitter @inciweb.org.