Fern Lake Fire near Estes Park doubles in size; hundreds evacuated
(photos at link)
Strong, gusting winds drove a backcountry wildfire east toward Estes Park, burning a cabin and forcing hundreds of people to evacuate around 4 a.m. Saturday.
Wind continued to cause problems Saturday as the fire more than doubled in size to 3,584 acres in less than 24 hours. The wind also hampered firefighters’ efforts, grounding aircraft as smoke from the blaze in Rocky Mountain National Park could be seen from as far as Fort Collins.
Park officials say the fire started Oct. 9 after an illegal campfire grew out of control. After smoldering in heavily wooded areas for several weeks, the wildfire rekindled on Thanksgiving. As winds up to 75 mph arrived late Friday night, the fire roared east, with the most activity observed since it began.