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Old 01-01-2013, 10:41 AM
2,253 posts, read 6,020,776 times
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Happy New Year.

“We have not declared it [Fern Lake Fire in RMNP] out yet, and my guess is it will not be for some time to come,” said park spokesman Larry Frederick. [1]

Now on to business. Latest reports have the Fern Lake Fire in Rocky Mountain National Park still burning. RMNP hasn't updated their public info since December 21, so this from the cited reference, about a week ago, more lately confirmed by CBS three days ago.

Smoke was reported visible less than two weeks ago in a rugged area of the park apparently not having burned for the last 800 to 1,000 years.

Having begun on October 9, likely due a human, this wildfire has to date burned over 3,400 acres. It was first said to be isolated and minor. Later swiftly expanding and burning across Moraine Valley in RMNP, threatening Estes Park and resulting in the temporary evacuation of outlying portions of that town, including the YMCA of the Rockies. Somewhere in this timeframe this fire was officially predicted to be naturally extinguished with the first snows. That was later revised to a date in mid-December. With perhaps two feet of snow having fallen in the region, and low temperatures in the last few weeks often of minus something, this still smoldering fire is now expected to continue for several more weeks. Since snow apparently hasn't worked, the cold temperatures are presumed to finally put this fire out.

Stay tuned on that. Precipitation levels in the area remain below normal for this date. Due at least some winter at a relatively high elevation—in what is likely for Colorado to be one similar to last year's in below average precipitation, and above average temperatures—the Fern Lake Fire may at last die out before spring.

However there are currently a dozen smoldering wildfires across the American West.[2] Texas and southern New Mexico experienced wildfires in early 2012, as early as February. The U.S. Forest Service now considers the wildfire season to be 12 months long.

1) 'Fern Lake Fire persists through snow, cold weather west of Estes Park,' The Coloradoan

2) 'Wildfires Smolder in America's West as 2013 Reaches,' CRI
Wildfires Smolder in America's West as 2013 Reaches

Last edited by Idunn; 01-01-2013 at 10:49 AM..

Old 01-07-2013, 06:05 AM
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Default Estes Park Fires?

Is the area near Estes Park being hit with the fires I'm hearing about? Which part of Rocky Mountain National Park is being hit?

I remember driving through Estes five years ago to get to the Rockies (been a few years so I don't remember the route/road I took) and it was absolutely beautiful.
Old 01-07-2013, 10:08 AM
Location: Ned CO @ 8300'
2,019 posts, read 4,323,534 times
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Originally Posted by ANAPA View Post
Is the area near Estes Park being hit with the fires I'm hearing about? Which part of Rocky Mountain National Park is being hit?.
Not sure what fires you are hearing about. The Fern Lake fire has been burning since October. That is the only one I know about. You can read this recent thread Official Thread for all 2013 Colorado Fire Season Topics
Old 01-07-2013, 12:11 PM
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Wink Fern Lake Fire

Yes, there is presently a wildfire burning in Rocky Mountain National Park.

At the moment it is likely not much more than smoldering, and inconsequential enough (presently) that RMNP has lifted all fire related restrictions on road and trail travel. There has been a reported two feet or so of snow in the area in the last month, with nighttime temperatures at times minus something. So odd that this fire could start when it did, October 9, and continue as long in winter, if presumably out by spring.

This so-called Fern Lake Fire was first reported in the vicinity of Cub Lake, although that is a different drainage on the far side of a high ridge. It seems to have started somewhere just west of the Fern Lake Trailhead, in an area known as Forest Canyon. This located at the far western edge of Moraine Park. This wildfire has since burned over 3,400 acres, having burned west up along the steep canyon of the Big Thompson River, and then later swiftly east across Moraine Park to the edge of Bear Lake Road.

More info on this fire can be had, in part, from these two resources:

InciWeb the Incident Information System: Fern Lake
Current Park Fires - Rocky Mountain National Park

At one point this wildfire threatened adjacent Estes Park, with residents along Highway 66, including the YMCA of the Rockies, having been evacuated as a precautionary measure for several days. There was another, unrelated, fire this summer in Estes Park on High Drive, at the far eastern edge of the park, that burned 21 residences; its cause was inattention and a resultant electrical fire. This "winter" thus far appears similar to the dry one last year, with official projections it will remain as such. In consequence conditions remain near ideal for more and larger fires come spring.

Further discussion on this and other Colorado wildfires can be found on the official 2012 fire thread, and a brief bit just begun on the new 2013 thread.

• 2012 Official Thread for all 2012 Colorado Fire Season Topics

• 2013 Official Thread for all 2013 Colorado Fire Season Topics
Old 01-07-2013, 03:23 PM
215 posts, read 710,006 times
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Originally Posted by Neditate View Post
Not sure what fires you are hearing about. The Fern Lake fire has been burning since October. That is the only one I know about. You can read this recent thread Official Thread for all 2013 Colorado Fire Season Topics

I was hearing about it in general with no specific location mentioned. Now that I know about this thread I'll keep myself up to date.

Old 01-22-2013, 05:41 PM
Location: CO
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It's been warm, dry and windy in metro Denver - no break from fire season.

Two small grass fires were reported yesterday:

Boulder fire crews knock down small grass fire on Olde Stage Road

Fire crews snuff small grassland fire near Castle Pines Parkway and Monarch in Douglas County
Old 01-23-2013, 12:41 PM
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:58 PM
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Here's our current water situation (from CSIndi)
In early summer of 2011, the city's reservoirs were at 83 percent of capacity, holding enough water to meet more than two years of demand. Since then, storage has dropped to 48 percent. If the drought persists, and the city doesn't implement restrictions it has planned, storage could drop to 25 percent of capacity by this fall, with less than a year's demand in reserve.
Old 02-07-2013, 03:42 PM
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Wink Fern Lake Fire as of February

According to a ranger at Rocky Mountain National Park the Fern Lake Fire is still burning, and smoldering in a number of places, primarily she believed along the southern terminus of the wildfire's extent.

Previous trail and road closures due this wildfire have since been lifted (for now). Although this spokesperson cautioned that one hiking in the area would wish to pay attention, and this likely all the more true as the season progresses.

Her expectation is if this winter continues as it has that this wildfire will not be naturally extinguished but flare up again come spring.
Old 02-17-2013, 11:28 AM
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While this post isn't addressing any fires started (thankfully), I WOULD like to say something that's been on my mind lately, and the subject is fire fighting aircraft.

I don't listen to a lot of talk radio, but I do prefer to tune in regarding local issues. And our local station last weekend had some talk regarding our inventory of air tankers, or possible lack of. I don't know why I feel uneasy about this issue but I do, because I haven't heard anything on radio or tv or read much about upgrading our inventory. And the figures from last years fires in our state are pretty sobering to me- over a half billion dollars regarding property damage, 400,000 plus acres burnt, several hundred homes destroyed. I would think and hope our politicians are at work on this issue. I hope.
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