The Hanging Lake Trail is located about 2 miles east of the Grizzly Creek fire in the Dead Horse Creek drainage. Click on  the map and zoom in to see the location of Hanging Lake. (Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team)

The Grizzly Creek fire in Glenwood Canyon has come uncomfortably close to Hanging Lake, one of Colorado’s most beloved natural attractions, but firefighters consider it a priority in their battle against the 3,700-acre fire raging about halfway between the Hanging Lake Trail and Glenwood Springs. The popular hiking area has been closed due to its proximity to the wildfire.

Grizzly Creek is a separate drainage (or watershed valley) from Dead Horse Creek, where Hanging Lake is located, and that may help it stay safe from the fire. The fire is about 2 miles from the Hanging Lake Trail, and as of Wednesday morning, it was still considered 0% contained.

“Protecting the Hanging Lake area is a priority,” said David Boyd, public affairs officer for the White River National Forest. “It helps that it is in a separate drainage, but we are seeing extreme fire behavior.”

The fire is expected to be fast-moving on Wednesday and the weather — hot and dry with winds gusting to 30 mph — is not cooperating. More than 200 personnel are on the scene with more coming. The fire started Monday and the origin is under investigation.

Along with Hanging Lake, a 24-mile segment of Interstate 70 from Glenwood Springs to Gypsum is also closed as firefighters battle the blaze.

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