Structures destroyed on west side of Rocky Mountain National Park

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Kawuneechee Valley near Coyote TH Courtesy Rocky Mountain National Park (courtesy RMNP)

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RMNP, Colo. (KDVR) — Rocky Mountain National Park officials say the East Troublesome Fire has destroyed structures on the west side of the park. At this time, initial assessments indicate the damage is minimal but full assessments have not been made.

 A heat signature from the National Weather Service was picked up in the Spruce Creek drainage, on the east side of the Continental Divide in Rocky Mountain National Park on Thursday, according to park officials.

RMNP fire lookouts from near the Ute Trail along Trail Ridge Road were able to confirm a smoke column out of Spruce Creek on Thursday.  Due to the location of the fire in the lower Spruce Creek drainage and confluence of Forest Canyon, evacuations began for areas of Estes Park, according to park officials.

Park officials also said humidity levels Thursday greatly assisted in stopping the fire growth and it appears it has remained in that general location.  It is in the same general area as the Fern Lake Fire of 2012.    

Numerous trees were down on the west side of Trail Ridge Road, north of the Green Mountain Trailhead, blocking that area as a means to evacuate on Wednesday night, according to a release on Friday morning. 

Weather conditions on the west side of the Continental Divide were very different than the east side Thursday, with low humidity and winds continuing to add to the fire growth.  As of last night, the East Troublesome Fire had moved north of the Coyote Valley Trailhead.   

All of Rocky Mountain National Park remains closed.

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