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Big Meadows Fire Day 4: Blaze now 30 percent contained

5:21 PM, Jun 14, 2013   |    comments
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GREEN MOUNTAIN TRAILHEAD - A fire that broke out Monday afternoon on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park is at 353 acres. No structures or communities are threatened. The fire is 30 percent contained.

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More than 260 firefighters are working to suppress the blaze as of Friday morning. Type 1, 2 and 3 helicopters are on order to help fight the fire. There is no precipitation in the forecast, which worries officials.

The fire is burning 5 miles north of Grand Lake. Lightning caused this fire.

Park officials say they usually prefer to let naturally-occurring fires burn for the benefit of the resource and future fire breaks, however, park managers decided to suppress the fire.

The area of the fire is 70 to 90 percent beetle kill - which produced large plumes of smoke Tuesday afternoon. Luckily, the fire is burning in a very remote area of the park. Officials say this fire is reminiscent of the Cow Creek Fire in 2010.

Officials wanted to remind everyone of the dangerous conditions firefighters are battling the blaze in. Just on Monday, a firefighter in California lost his life when a beetle-kill tree fell on him. 

Currently, there are seven trails that are temporarily closed in the area ? the Onahu Trail, the Green Mountain Trail, the lower Tonahutu Trail, the Tonahutu Spur Trail, the Grand Lake Lodge Spur Trail, the Timber Lake Trail and the trail which branches toward Mount Ida from Milner Pass. These trail closures affect a section of the Continental Divide Trail that passes through the park. All major roads and facilities in Rocky Mountain National Park are open as are our neighboring communities of Grand Lake and Estes Park.

The park has set up a recorded Fire Information Line at 970-586-1381 which will be updated when new information on the Big Meadows Fire is available.

All roads in the area are still open.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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