Fern Lake Fire containment estimated at 88 percent

Some resources will stand down Monday

ESTES PARK, Colo. - The outlook on the Fern Lake Fire has changed dramatically in the course of the past 10 days. Winds pushed it out of control and forced evacuations on Dec. 1, but now containment is estimated at 88 percent.

The latest mapping of the fire shows 3,498 affected acres in Rocky Mountain National Park, west of Estes Park. Full containment is estimated for Monday, December 31.

The high-wind conditions that caused the fire to double in size in about 35 minutes early on the morning of Dec. 1 are gone, with the growth potential now considered to be low.  Several inches of snow fell in the area over the weekend.

If the weather conditions allow, firefighters plan to continue work on the edge of the fire between Steep Mountain and Mount Wuh. They'll work to improve fire lines and perform burnouts.

The plan also includes demobilization of resources. As of Sunday night, 189 people were working on the fire.

Estes Park residents will get a briefing from officials on what they can expect for the next few months. The meeting will be held Monday at the Estes Park Town Hall.

The fire, which remains under investigation, has been burning since Oct. 9 and has destroyed one cabin. All evacuation orders have been lifted.