Sunday afternoon a Rich Harvey’s Type 1 Incident Management Team will assume command of the Fern Lake Fire which in the early morning hours yesterday doubled in size as it spread more than three miles, coming to within less than four miles of the center of Estes Park, Colorado (see the map of the fire below). Strong winds early Saturday morning of 25 to 45 mph gusting to 75 mph pushed the fire into Moraine Park, burning one privately owned cabin and causing evacuations of residents just outside the boundaries of Rocky Mountain National Park, within which the fire has been confined so far. A campground within the park was also evacuated.
Firefighters mapped the fire at 3,584 acres on Sunday but there is no estimate of containment. Priorities today include keeping the fire within the national park.
Aircraft were not used on Saturday due to strong winds. Air tankers, though requested through channels, were not available, with the only large tankers still on contract grounded in California by weather.
A Red Flag Warning is in effect for the fire area from noon Sunday until 6 a.m. Monday. The forecast the fire area for Sunday predicts southwest winds of 15 gusting to 24 mph, a high temperature of 51, sky cover of 49 percent, and a minimum relative humidity of 24 percent. However Sunday night will see the winds increasing to a maximum 41 with gusts to 62 along with a 22 percent chance of rain. The humidity will max out Sunday night at 75 percent.