If you or someone close to you has a disability or requires special assistance, please call the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at 303-271-0211. In an emergency, always dial 911.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Golden Gate Canyon Road to open at 7:30 tonight

Evacuated residents of Golden Gate Canyon may return to their homes beginning at 7:30 p.m. The road will be open to local traffic only. Motorists may be asked to show ID by officials at roadblocks, to ensure that only local traffic passes through. Other motorists will be turned away. It is still important to minimize Golden Gate Canyon Road traffic for the safety and maneuverability of fire crews stationed inside the canyon.

Residents should remain on standby in the event of evacuations.

Winds push smoke over west metro area

The city of Golden and the nearby areas are experiencing significant smoke wafting over from the Indian Gulch Fire. Jeffco Public Health has advice for avoiding health problems caused by smoke exposure: http://www.co.jefferson.co.us/news/news_item_T3_R2132.htm

Large turnout of agencies for Indian Gulch Fire

The Incident Management Team has counted 37 agencies working on the Indian Gulch Fire in firefighting, EMS, law enforcement and support roles.

PIO has left 7-Eleven for the night

The PIO who was stationed at the 7-Eleven at 93/Washington is off that detail for the night. May be replaced in the morning; check back for more on this.

We will continue to post updates to this blog this evening.

Another image of smoldering near the fire's western edge

Via BlackBerry

Photo of area burned

This photo shows a burn area near the western end of the fire.

Via BlackBerry

Golden Gate Canyon Road

The road remains closed. Those who are familiar with the road know that it is very narrow in places. Fire crews need to be able to use the road and turn large vehicles around. Thank you for understanding. We will post information when the road is reopened.
Via BlackBerry

Air support update

Air crews dropped 9200 gallons of water and 7000 gallons of retardant today.
Via BlackBerry

Fire origin

The fire appears to have started on the top of Mt. Galbraith. This afternoon the fire has continued smoldering and in some spots has pushed back on itself.

Cost of fire to date is about $680,000.

Via BlackBerry

Road closure, east end Golden Gate Canyon

Via BlackBerry

Type 1 incident management team (IMT) en route

The Type 1 Incident Management Team arriving later today is the Great Basin Type 1 team. This team also worked the recent Fourmile and Reservoir Road fires in Colorado.

Firefighting efforts on north end hampered by terrain

Air crews are reporting that the treacherous, steep terrain on the north side of the fire was hampering their efforts. Water and retardant drops in that particular area have been ineffective because the SEAT (single-engine air tanker) cannot fly low enough.

Note to residents seeking access

Residents who live above Crawford Gulch are advised to use Hwy 6 to Hwy 119 to Douglas Mountain Road. Golden Gate Canyon Road remains closed from Catamount Drive on the east to Crawford Gulch Road on the west.

Indian Gulch Fire Behavior Update

The Indian Gulch Fire has been creeping and smoldering throughout the day. It has not grown significantly in size. However, afternoon winds are expected to pick up -- which may increase fire activity, and may force air support to stay grounded.

Evacuations are still in place, and Golden Gate Canyon Road remains closed for safety during fire operations.

Fire and law enforcement officials will brief the media at 3 p.m.

SEATs and helicopters temporarily grounded

Air support is temporarily grounded due to wind conditions.

Fire Containment Update

Incident commanders are reporting that the Indian Gulch Fire is 20-25% contained as of this time.

In-person information for residents

A Jefferson County Incident Management Team public information officer is stationed at the 7-Eleven at Highway 93 and Washington in Golden for residents who are nearby and have questions.

Fire Ban Details

Reminder: Yesterday a fire ban was issued for Jefferson County. Many common tasks/tools are prohibited. Read a complete list here (PDF) http://jeffco.us/jeffco/news_uploads/hot_topics/sheriff_fire_ban.pdf

Map of fire area

This image is a map of the fire area (yellow) that firefighters used at briefing this morning. It provides a basic overview of the fire's area.
Click on the map to zoom in.

Air support is now active

Two single-engine air tankers have dropped fire retardant and are headed to reload.

One helicopter has dropped water, another is expected to be airborne soon.

High winds preventing air support

All helicopters and air tankers remain on standby; high winds are preventing them from flying. The Indian Gulch Fire has had no air support Tuesday, so far.

Two Buildings Threatened, Saved Overnight

Overnight, two homes near the west end of the fire were threatened, but firefighters were able to protect them through effective mitigation on-site. The buildings are in a remote area off Rens Run Road, and there were no other buildings threatened.

Golden Gate Canyon Road Closure details

Golden Gate Canyon Road is closed from Catamount Drive on the east to Crawford Gulch Road on the west.

Reminder re Animals

Residents are reminded that animals may be evacuated to one of two facilities:

Pets may be taken to the Foothills Animal Shelter.

Large animals may be taken to the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.

There is no charge, and volunteers are available to care for the animals.

Golden Gate Canyon Road closed

Golden Gate Canyon Road is closed at the mouth of the canyon just west of Hwy. 93.

Via BlackBerry

Indian Gulch Fire Update

Fire updates:
  • Nearly 1,200 acres have burned
  • The fire is 15% contained
  • Fire officials expect two single-engine air tankers and two helicopters to be available to fight the fire this morning.
  • High winds are expected today, with gusts as high as 75 MPH
  • 200 firefighters will be working the fire today, with hand crews arriving from out of state
  • A Type 1 incident management team will arrive this evening to take over fire management
  • Keep checking this blog for further updates