ESTES PARK, Colo. - The Fern Lake Fire in Rocky Mountain National Park burned actively Tuesday, due to Red Flag fire conditions that included strong, gusty winds and single-digit humidity levels.
The fire spotted across Spruce Creek on the southern side, where fire crews responded.
High winds prohibited the use of a heli-tanker.
Smoke was heavier Tuesday and was visible from several places along the Front Range.
Due to increased fire activity and no relief in the weather forecast, the fire's incident commander has ordered more resources including a wildland engine and some overhead support.
The fire has been burning in the park since Oct. 9.
The Fern Lake Fire, west of Moraine Park, is being managed with a full suppression strategy. It is burning in steep, rugged terrain that includes beetle-killed trees limiting direct attack by firefighters on the ground. It was mapped Saturday at approximately 1,370 acres. The fire is 40 percent contained and the cause is under investigation.
The continued safety of visitors and firefighters and the containment of the fire in the park remain the top priorities of park and fire officials. A fire and smoking ban is in effect until further notice in the backcountry of the park, east of the Continental Divide. Moraine Park Campground remains open and campfires in grates are allowed. Use of fire anywhere in the area should be used with extreme caution.
For visitor safety, trails in the immediate area of western Moraine Park and the fire are closed to hikers. This includes Fern Lake Road beyond the winter parking lot, Fern Lake Trail all the way to Lake Helene (by The Pool, Fern Falls, Fern Lake, Odessa Lake to Helene), the Cub Lake Trail from the trailhead to The Pool and the Mill Creek Trail from the Mill Creek Basin campsites to the Cub Lake Trail. Visitors who ignore trail closures will be issued a citation. Trails are posted and physically closed.