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Smoke Jumpers Battle Gusty Winds Fueling Fern Lake Fire

ESTES PARK, Colo. (CBS4)- The Fern Lake Fire continues to burn more than a month after it first ignited in rough and rocky terrain in Rocky Mountain National Park.

The fire is being fueled by dry and warm conditions that persist across Colorado along with strong, gusty winds.

Those windy conditions have prevented firefighters from launching the helitanker to fight the fire from the air.

The fire started on Oct. 9, but firefighters could never get a good attack going because the terrain is so rugged. The fire is also burning beetle-kill trees that continues to limit direct attacks by firefighters on the ground.

The Fern Lake Fire burning in Rocky Mtn. National Park (credit: RMNP)

On Saturday, the Fern Lake Fire west of Moraine Park has burned about 1,370 acres.

Park rangers say the only thing that will put out the fire is a big snowstorm.

Moraine Park Campground remains open and campfires in grates are allowed. Use of fire anywhere in the area should be used with extreme caution.

For visitor safety, trails in the immediate area of western Moraine Park and the fire are closed to hikers. This includes Fern Lake Road beyond the winter parking lot, Fern Lake Trail all the way to Lake Helene (by The Pool, Fern Falls, Fern Lake, Odessa Lake to Helene), the Cub Lake Trail from the trailhead to The Pool and the Mill Creek Trail from the Mill Creek Basin campsites to the Cub Lake Trail. Visitors who ignore trail closures will be issued a citation.

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