Battle against Colo. wildfire expands

Dec. 2, 2012 at 12:12 PM

FORT COLLINS, Colo., Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Firefighters said a new command team was brought in Sunday to combat a stubborn wildfire in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park.

The Fern Lake fire had been burning in the park since Oct. 9. It flared up Friday when winds picked up, doubling in size and forcing the evacuation of 583 homes.

"The fire was spotting a mile ahead of itself, which is an incredibly long distance," spokeswoman Traci Weaver of the Texas Forest Service told The Denver Post Saturday. "What happened last night was a rather unexpected wind event."

With the fire growing to 3,584 acres, a Type 1 management team was dispatched to the scene Sunday to take command of the ramped-up firefighting effort, which grew to about 200 firefighters.

Weaver said a good snowfall was the best bet for quashing the fire but forecasts called for a dry cold front to move through the area, with gusty winds and not much precipitation.

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