wildfire-near-rocky-mountain-national-park-fully-contained-at-147-acres

A wildfire burning for four days in steep terrain near Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado has been fully contained after scorching 147 acres, officials said Saturday.

The Kruger Rock Fire broke out Tuesday morning after high winds knocked down a tree onto a power line, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office said.

It became fully contained Saturday afternoon, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The fire near Estes Park, a town of around 6,000 residents approximately 50 miles northwest of Denver, spread quickly amid warmer-than-normal temperatures and drought conditions in much of Colorado and the West.

The rugged terrain prevented firefighters from approaching by foot, prompting local officials to order a water drop by air. An air tanker pilot died in a crash while fighting the fire.

The pilot, Marc Thor Olson, was attempting to drop fire suppressant over the Kruger Rock Fire when he alerted officials that conditions had become too turbulent to make the drop, according to the sheriff’s office. Moments later, around 6:30 p.m., ground personnel heard the plane crash.

“We extend our sincerest condolences to the friends and family of Mr. Olson,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Initial conditions caused the fire to spread quickly. Officials ordered mandatory and voluntary evacuations, which were lifted Friday evening.

There have been no reports of structure damage.

Alicia Victoria Lozano is a California-based reporter for NBC News focusing on climate change, wildfires and the changing politics of drug laws.

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