Fern Lake

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Fern Lake

This incident is no longer being updated.


Approximate Location

40.359 latitude, -105.662 longitude

Incident Overview

Fire engine with firefighter on top

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This will be the last InciWeb update unless significant activity occurs.

The Fern Lake Fire started Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, about three miles west of Estes Park, Colo., in steep and rugged Forest Canyon in Rocky Mountain National Park. Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire, which is believed to have been associated with an illegal campfire in lower Forest Canyon. The investigation remains open. The fire area is littered with downed and beetle-killed trees, creating hazardous conditions for firefighters. Under a full-suppression strategy since it began, the fire remained in inaccessible terrain until Nov. 30, when 70 mile-per-hour winds pushed it three miles east to Moraine Park in 35 minutes, more than doubling its size. A Type 1 Incident Management Team, headed by Paul Broyles, assumed command of the fire on Sunday, Dec. 2. Fire behavior has been reduced significantly since that time due to colder temperatures, high humidity and some precipitation. Transfer of command from the Type I Incident Management Team back to a National Park Service Type III Team occured on Monday, December 10. A transfer from the Type III organization to a Type IV Team occured on Wednesday evening 12/12/12.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
CauseUnder Investigation
Date of OriginTuesday October 09th, 2012 approx. 02:00 PM
LocationWest of Estes Park, CO
Incident CommanderJames Champ

Current Situation

Total Personnel15
Size3,498 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained88%
Estimated Containment DateFriday May 31st, 2013 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

10 Timber (litter and understory)FM 8/10 with high loading of dead and down and beetle kill.

Significant Events

Due to severe weather and snow covered terrain conditions, suppression actions were limited. Fire was put into monitor status with all air resources being demobed December 12, 2012.


Planned Actions

Monitor and gather intelligence on fire. Take advantage of any opportunities to conduct limited suppression of isolated smoldering fuels.

Projected Incident Activity



When the combination of terrain and precipitation have combined to meet management's containment definition, the containment date will be adjusted.

Unit Information

NPS Shield
Rocky Mountain National Park
National Park Service
1000 Highway 36 Estes Park Colorado 80517

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Related Incident Links

Incident Cooperators

  • Arapahoe-Roosevelt National Forest
  • Estes Park Fire Protection District
  • Left Hand Fire Rescue

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National Wildfire Coordinating Group U.S. Forest Service Bureau of Land Managemen Bureau of Indian Affairs Fish and Wildlife Service National Park Service National Association of State Foresters U.S. Fire Administration
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