Weather Related Incidents in Rocky Mountain National Park
At 12:39 p.m. a park visitor called 911 via cell phone to report that someone had been struck by lightning on the Ute Trail. The patient was subsequently located approximately 100 yards from the Ute Crossing Trailhead on Trail Ridge Road approximately one mile above Rainbow Curve. When rangers arrived to the area, the storm was still active with intense lightning activity. The patient was evacuated by park staff and Estes Park EMS down the trail to an awaiting ambulance. The patient was then transported by Estes Park Ambulance to the Estes Park Medical Center. The patient was a 65 year-old female. Her condition is not being released at this time.
Rangers also responded to a report of a mud and rock slide on the Fern Lake Trail, in the Arch Rock Area and the area of the Fern Lake Fire, about 1 mile from the Fern Lake Trailhead. The report indicates that hikers may be unable to pass through the area due to debris. No injuries have been reported and no further information is available at this time. Backcountry hikers and horse users have either negotiated the debris flow or have been rerouted to the Cub Lake Trailhead. The Fern Lake Trail is currently closed from the trailhead to the Pool and will remain closed until further notice. Overnight campers in the area are being contacted in regards to the trail closure.
The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for the upper Big Thompson river drainage, including the area of the Fern Lake Fire. This warning remains in effect until further notice.
Lighting is a significant hazard in the Colorado Rockies, particularly during the summer months when thunderstorms are most prevalent and in areas located above tree line where shelter is limited.