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Updated; Fire Burning in the Backcountry of Rocky Mountain National Park


A small fire was burning Friday in the backcountry of Rocky Mountain National Park. NPS graphic.

Hot, dry, windy conditions helped a forest fire burning Friday in the backcountry of Rocky Mountain National Park to jump to roughly 100 acres. A growing contingent of firefighters, aided by helicopter and air-tanker support, were battling the flames.

The blaze, burning in a lodgepole forest, was spotted Thursday about 1 mile south of Mount Dickinson near the northern edge of the park. At the time it was estimated to cover 3-5 acres, but overnight it grew to an estimated 10-12 acres, and by Friday afternoon its size was estimated between 85 and 100 acres and expected to grow, according to park officials, who couldn't say how the fire started.

The area, about 7 miles from the nearest road, is heavily timbered, and some of the trees had been killed by mountain pine beetle infestations, which have plagued other parts of Rocky Mountain.

On Thursday aerial tankers dumped five loads of retardant on the fire, and eight smokejumpers parachuted to the fire lines late in the afternoon. A ground crew joined them later in the evening, the park said.

By Friday afternoon 20 crew members from the Roosevelt Hotshots with the U.S. Forest Service reached the area on foot. A medium-size helicopter was expected to reach the area Friday afternoon, and fire bosses called in a larger helicopter for water drops and requested two additional air tankers.

All designated trails in Rocky Mountain National Park remained open Friday afternoon, the park reported, although due to aircraft and firefighters working in the West Creek and Fox Creek drainages off-trail travel was not being allowed in the area south of the North Fork of the Big Thompson River, west of the North Boundary Trail, or north of Cow Creek and east of Mummy Mountain and Mount Dunraven. This closure area is a remote section of the park and has very low visitation.


Who is Mt. Dickinson named after?

Any idea if you can see Mt. Dickinson and the area effected from Mt Crosier outside of Glen Haven? I'm going to try and get up to Crosier tomorrow night and check it out, full moon! Last time I was up there my headlight picked up two green eyes, 75-100 yards away checkin' me out... meow!

I thought our national parks had a "natural burn" policy? Are they fighting it because they don't know if it was "naturally" started or has there been a policy change?

Angie Dickinson, I believe. :)'s the National Forests that have a "natural burn" policy. National Parks are very pro-active!

Isn't it good to have the forest burn unless it threatons homes and people, in light of all the beetle kill?

I'm not sure what the offical policy is, but since we can see this from our living room up in the lumpy range, I'm GLAD they are fighting it!

They are fighting the fire to Protect MY and MY NEIGHBORS HOMES. and I thank them for it.. Currently the Cow Creek fire is less than 4 miles from my home

I'd lived in the hills for over 13 years, half of them DRY. I hope your homes aren't in danger but then again, it's just one of the things you have to deal with when living in the mountains.
Is the road to Glen Haven still open?

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