ESTES PARK, Colo. (CBS4)– A wildfire burning in Rocky Mountain National Park has burned more than 660 acres and was uncontained Thursday afternoon.

The fire is burning west of the Fern Lake Trailhead on the east side of the park.

Changes in the fire’s behavior have been minimal on Thursday and fire officials are taking a deliberate approach to managing this fire.

The fire had burned about 400 acres as of Wednesday. No structures are threatened by the fire.

The Fern Lake Fire is burning in steep, rugged terrain that includes beetle-kill trees, which prohibits a direct attack by firefighters on the ground.

More than 90 personnel, seven fire engines and two heavy helitankers are focusing on the fire inside park boundaries north of Glacier Creek, west of Hollowell Park and south of Trail Ridge Road.

Fire crews are also hoping to contain the fire by making water drops.

Bear Lake Road, Upper Beaver Meadows Road and Moraine Park Campground are closed.
All park trails accessed from Bear Lake Road and Highway 66 have been closed, as are trails south of Trail Ridge Road including the Ute Trail. Trail Ridge Road remains open.

Due to fire conditions at Rocky Mountain National Park, smoking and open fires in the park’s backcountry are now prohibited.

Firefighters are hoping for more help from Mother Nature as a cold front is expected to pass through the area of the fire Thursday evening into Friday. High temperatures in the upper 50s are predicted in the park with westerly winds from seven to 11 mph.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.


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