National Park Fire: Colorado Wind Gusts Threaten To Spread 1000 Acre Fire

By Staff Reporter on October 23, 2012 5:52 PM EDT

Back in June, a massive wildfire in Colorado Springs, Colorado, burned nearly 20,000 acres of forestry before response teams could find a way to contain the destruction.

Now, a new fire threatens Rocky Mountain National Park.The fire has already burned 979 acres and is merely 30 percent contained. What's more, strong, gusty winds stand to increase fire activity even more.

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Officials said on Tuesday, "In anticipation of predicted warm and windier weather today, fire managers have ordered a heavy helicopter to assist with suppression efforts."

Responding helitankers are capable of carrying 1000 gallons of water at high altitude to suppress the Fern Lake fire. Smaller reconnaissance helicopters survey the damage and strategy efforts going forward.

Spreading furiously across steep, rugged terrain, the fire is too dangerous to be fought head on by firefighters.

Trails including the Cub Lake Trail, Fern Lake Trail, and Fern Lake access road, the Upper Beaver Meadows, and the Lower Odessa Gorge are all closed. The origin and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Park officials are reaching out to the public for information: "If you were in the vicinity of the Cub Lake Trail and/or the Fern Lake Trail any time before 2 p.m. on Tuesday, October 9 you may have pertinent information. If you saw anything unusual or noteworthy, investigators would like to talk with you."

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