Photos: East Troublesome Fire's damage to Rocky Mountain National Park

After the East Troublesome Fire burned into the southwest side of Rocky Mountain National Park up to timberline on Thursday, a spot fire began on the east side of the Continental Divide, incident commander Noel Livingston said Friday in his morning briefing.

RELATED: All of Rocky Mountain National Park closes as East Troublesome Fire enters the park

“We got a spot fire over the top of the crest of the Rockies,” Livingston said in a Friday morning briefing. “Fortunately as the cold front came through yesterday afternoon, on the east side of the fire, that resulted in increasing humidities and cooler temperatures, which checked up active fire growth.”

A spot fire is “a fire ignited outside the perimeter of the main fire by flying sparks or embers,” according to the National Park Service.

A news release late Friday morning from Rocky Mountain National Park said the spot fire occurred in the Spruce Creek drainage.

“Low clouds contributed to the challenge of assessing where smoke was coming from,” the release said. “Park fire lookouts from near the Ute Trail along Trail Ridge Road were able to confirm a smoke column out of Spruce Creek. 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. Humidity levels yesterday 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.”

There has been some “minimal” damage to structures on the west side of the park, according to the release, and “numerous” trees were down on the west side of Trail Ridge Road, north of the Green Mountain trailhead.

This is a developing story and will be updated. 

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