UPDATE: Big Meadows Fire burns 604 acres, 75 percent contained

Update 6/17 10:25 a.m.

According to Fire Information Officer Bill Kight, the Big Meadows Fire in Rocky Mountain National Park is currently burning at 604 acres with 75 percent containment.


No injuries or accidents have been reported but one firefighter on the line did experience a medical emergency. Authorities did not have any further information on the incident at this time. No homes or structures have been damaged by the fire.

“Still on the fire today we have two wildland fire modules that consist of eight firefighters each and two interagency, 20-person, Type I hotshot crews,” said Fire Information Officer Clark McCreedy.

McCreedy said two fire engines, one air attack light plane, two light helicopters and one medium helicopter are still on the scene.

Update 6/14 10:29 a.m.

Overnight progress has been made on the Big Meadows Fire which is still listed at 333 acres. However after an assessment today by the fire staff Big Meadows Fire has been estimated to be contained at 30%.

The weather is expected to not work against firefighters over the next 2-3 days with afternoon winds staying at 10-12 MPH and gusts to 20 MPH.

There are still currently 7 trails closed as a result of the fire but Rocky Mountain National Park is still open to the public.

Officials stated that there remains no immediate threat to communities or structures.


Update 2:53 p.m. 


After a still night, the Big Meadows Fire has not grown in size from the previously reported 400 acres. Structures and communities are not in danger.

Due to beetle kill in the trees in the area, it is reported that firefighters are planning an indirect attack on the fire, to avoid difficult and dangerous terrain. Firefighters are planning to hold the fire east of Trail Ridge Road (Highway 34), west of Continental Divide, and north of Tonahutu Creek.

Trails closed in the area include: Onahu Trail, Green Mountain Trail, lower Tonahutu Trail, Tonahutu Spur Trail, Grand Lake Lodge Spur Trail, Timber Lake Trail and trail which branches toward Mount Ida from Milner Pass. All major roads and facilities in RMNP are open.


Update 9:57 p.m.

The Big Meadows Fire has grown from two to three acres to an estimated 300 to 400 acres. No structures or communities are in danger. It is heading toward the Northeast, Nakai Peak.

The weather is expected to be warm, dry and windy tomorrow. The fire is expected to continue.   Fire managers have ordered more resources, including another helicopter and another fire crew.

Currently there are five trails temporarily closed in the area: the Onahu Trail, the Green Mountain Trail, the lower Tonahutu Trail, the Tonahutu Spur Trail and the Grand Lake Lodge Spur Trail.

All major roads in Rocky Mountain National Park are open.


Update 6:04 p.m. Fire burning in Rocky Mountain National Park one of three major fires in Colorado.

The Big Meadows Fire is one of three major wild fires burning in Colorado.

Other fires burning include the Royal Gorge Fire near Canon City and the Black Forest Fire northeast of Colorado Springs.

4:18 p.m. Fire burning in Rocky Mountain National Park

Officials at Rocky Mountain National Park, say that the their Park Service and the US Forest Service are currently battling a fire that was started in the Big Meadows area located at the west side of the park. The fire was started on Monday after a lightning strike.

High winds are impacting the firefighting conditions, but are not directly increasing the acreage of the fire, which is currently about two to three acres.

Smoke jumpers are on stand-by, in case they are needed. This area does contain beetle killed trees.

According to the RMNP press release,  the decision was difficult to make because it is preferred to allow these naturally occurring fires to burn for the better “of the resource and future fire breaks.”

However, because of the drought and resources, the ability to manage a large fire is significantly limited.

This story is developing, stay with the Collegian for more updates