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Fires in Rocky Mountain NP force closure of trails and campgrounds

UPDATE: ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. — Crews made progress on two small fires in Rocky Mountain National Park over the weekend and trail and campsite closures have been lifted.

Both fires likely started Thursday after a storm with lightning moved through the northern Colorado park, officials said.

Though air tankers dropped retardant on the 5-acre Forest Canyon Fire burning below Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, the effort to slow down the blaze was ineffective. Upper Beaver Meadows Road is closed but Trail Ridge Road remains open, pending changing conditions, reports KUNC.

The Mirror Fire continues to burn in the northern section of the park causing the closure of the following trails: the Mirror Lake Trail, from the junction with the Mummy Pass Trail northbound to Mirror Lake, and the Comanche Peak trail, from the park boundary southbound to Mirror Lake. Campsite closures include the Mirror Lake and Koenig stock site.

According to a statement from the National Park Service, the Forest Canyon Fire is burning in a pine forest where 50 percent of the stand has been killed by recent insect infestations. The section currently burning hasn’t burned in the last 800 years.

The cause of the fires has not been determined, though officials note a thunderstorm with lightning moved through the Forest Canyon area Thursday afternoon.

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