(CBS4) – On Thursday morning officials at Colorado’s most popular national park took the extreme measure of closing the entire park to visitors due to the dangers posed by a devastating wildfire. Rocky Mountain National Park is closed due to the extreme fire behavior of the East Troublesome Fire, which is now listed at more than 125,000 acres. On Thursday afternoon officials said the fire has jumped across the Continental Divide.
Latest satellite info shows increased fire intensity on the #EastTroublesomeFire early this afternoon. The fire has jumped the Continental Divide and is now burning in the upper reaches of Rocky Mountain National Park. #COwx pic.twitter.com/6onPKwCfi4
— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) October 22, 2020
The fire burned 100,000 acres on Wednesday and crept past the park’s western edge.
All of #RMNP is closed to visitors due to fire activity on the west side of the Continental Divide. If conditions allow, an Infrared flight is planned to gauge where there is current fire activity. This is a rapidly evolving situation. Currently, air quality is hazardous #RMNP.
— RockyNPS (@RockyNPS) October 22, 2020
Officials say the air quality is hazardous within the park due to the wildfire smoke and Trail Ridge Road is not passable on the west side because of downed trees.
Fire growth was expected to be significant throughout the day Thursday, and some evacuations have been ordered outside of the eastern edge of the park, close to Estes Park.
Officials from the park called the wildfire growth a “rapidly evolving situation” in a tweet.
The park closed for a short time to public access earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.