9NEWS will continue to post live updates as we learn more about the Fern Lake Fire and evacuations.
7:00 p.m. 12/02/12 - With high winds forecasted Sunday night, approximately 150 firefighters and 19 engines will be fighting the Fern Lake Fire overnight. Sunday night's weather is forecasted to have high winds with gusts of up to 70 mph from around 10 p.m. until 3 a.m.
3:00 p.m. 12/02/12 - A Red Flag warning was issued at noon by the National Weather Service for strong winds until 6 a.m. Monday. Approximately 200 personnel are working on the fire and more resources are on the way. Crews will monitor the fire throughout the night.
10:05 a.m. 12/02/12 - There will be a community and evacuee meeting at 5 p.m. at the Estes Park Town Hall in the board room, 170 MacGregor Avenue.
Officials call fire "Perfect Storm" due to weather conditions and fire fuels. There are excessive amounts of fuel for the fire to consume in some parts of the park which hasn't had fire in 300 to 400 years.
FIRE DOUBLES IN SIZE
The Fern Lake Fire doubled in size Saturday, but officials are still "cautiously optimistic" as national crews prepare take part in the operations.
One private cabin was lost in the fire that grew rapidly Friday night and prompted evacuations. No injuries have been reported.
As of Sunday morning, the fire was at more than 3,500 acres with 20 percent containment. More than 120 firefighters are fighting the fire on the ground and will monitor its progress overnight Saturday.
The east side of Rocky Mountain National Park is closed, but the Fall River Visitor Center remains open.
The sheriff's department says 1,100 emergency notifications were sent to residents Friday night as the fire grew.
Approximately 681 of those contacts were still evacuated along Highway 66 Saturday night.
Authorities have scheduled an evacuee meeting at the Estes Park High School for 10 a.m. Sunday.
The Highway 66 corridor, including all adjacent streets, remains in evacuation. Power is still on in the Highway 66 corridor.
Residents of High Drive and adjacent streets are now on pre-evacuation notice. The residents in this area may return home, presenting identification to law enforcement at the High Drive road block. No others will be allowed in the area.
Residents who were evacuated Saturday from the west side of Marys Lake Road and all adjacent streets are now allowed to return home and are on pre-evacuation notices. Access to the neighborhood is unrestricted.
On Saturday night, expanded pre-evacuation reverse notifications were sent to the Marys Lake Road area to include the area from Moraine Avenue and Rock Ridge Road South to Highway 7 and Fish Creek Road. The pre-evacuation notice includes both the east and west sides of Marys Lake Road.
Evacuees are asked to go to Estes Park High School at 1600 Manford Ave.
The evacuation center will transition from the Estes Park High School to the Mountain View Bible Fellowship at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2. Mountain View Bible Fellowship is located at 1575 South Saint Vrain Avenue (CO Highway 7), at the corner of Peak View Drive.
Large animals may be taken to the Stanley Park Fairgrounds 1209 Manford Ave.
Campers in the Moraine Park campground reported seeing flames in the meadow. They told 9NEWS the fire grew larger just after 2 a.m. Saturday. As of 10 a.m., the fire had not crossed Bear Lake Road.
Fire information officer Traci Weaver told 9NEWS in a live interview it's good news the fire has not crossed Bear Lake Road, and crews are hoping to keep that from happening. The fire remains inside Rocky Mountain National Park.
Wildfires during the colder months in Colorado are less common than they are in the spring and summer, but the unusually dry pattern this year has created dangerous fire conditions, even as we enter December.
The cause of the wildfire, which began Oct. 9, is still under investigation. Weaver says it may have been human-caused from an escaped, illegal campfire.
Fire updates on InciWeb here: http://inciweb.org/incident/3294/
View Approximate evacuation area for Fern Lake Fire in a larger map
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