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.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Social Media Information Outreach Strategy

The beginning of any incident is typically the busiest and most information filled period. As such our social media engagement during the last few days has been high. As the incident goes forward and becomes more stable the need for rapid updates will slow relative to our prior pace.

This means that the frequency of our posts and tweets will slowly decrease in proportion with the stability of the incident. Be assured that we will continue to post and tweet each new pertinent update in a timely fashion.

Ours is a digital age where Social Media must be fully engaged. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office realizes that our information sharing strategy has differed from traditional press release based ‘pad n paper’ media outreach.

As with any strategy, we are continuously assessing our impact and how we can improve what we have already accomplished. Our internal tracking and statistics show that there have been over 2 million hits on our Lower North Fork Fire map posted on the emergency blog. We have had 300,000+ hits on the emergency blog during the duration of this incident. The number of people following the @JeffcoSheriffCo twitter account has more than quadrupled during this incident. With these numbers we believe that our strategy is working but we certainly are fully dedicated to continuously trying to improve our interaction with the community.

We will continue to provide updates via the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Emergency blog (www.jeffcosheriff1.blogspot.com). We will also continue to post updates via twitter using @JeffcoSheriffCo.

Don’t have a twitter account? Or don’t know how to use twitter? All you have to do is visit www.twitter.com/jeffcosheriffco . Click on the link and you will see all of our recent updates (tweets). You do not have to create an account to see the tweets.

Thank you for engaging with us during this incident. We look forward to completing our social media conversation as the incident begins to further stabilize.

Citizen and Media Briefings for Sunday 4/01/12:

There are no media briefings scheduled for Sunday April, 1st, 2012 at Conifer High School. Should a briefing be necessary we will notify the media of the briefing time via this website and via our Twitter account (@jeffcosheriffco).

There will be a citizen briefing at the West Jefferson Middle School at 5:00 PM. There will not be any briefing at 9:00 AM or 1:00 PM.

Lower North Fork Fire Update 3/31/12 1700:

Firefighters have worked hard today to establish and hold the containment line around the Lower North Fork Fire perimeter.

The containment number is 90%.

At 7:00 PM residents in the existing evacuation areas to include Maxwell Hill and Critchell Road will be allowed to return to their homes. All homes located south of the intersection of Pleasant Park Road and Keuhster Road remain under the evacuation order.

The Red Flag Warning issued by the National Weather Service has not been lifted. As such residents moving back into area should remember to remain vigilant and prepared to leave should conditions change.

Lower North Fork Fire Update 3/31/12 1600:

Search for Missing Woman Suspended

Jefferson County, Co. – With the efforts of Colorado Task Force 1, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, possible human artifacts have been located within the Appel home located at 14141 Broadview Circle.

The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office has assumed care of the artifacts and has begun a series of forensic tests. The results are not expected for several days.

Colorado Task Force 1, the Urban Search and Rescue Team, has suspended search efforts as of 2:30 PM today.

The Appel family has asked for privacy during this time of loss.

You can view the official press release here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_3vHjXvTmbCWWV4VkZ1d2hRTnVZeFNXazk0VksyUQ/edit

Citizen and Media Briefings are now Scheduled for Saturday 3/31/12:

A Media Briefing is Scheduled for 3/31/12 at 4:00 PM, at Conifer High School.

A Citizen Briefing will take place at 5:00 PM at the West Jefferson Middle School. This briefing will be attending by Jefferson County Sheriff Ted Mink and Incident Commander Rich Harvey.

Lower North Fork Fire Update 3/31/12 1355

Cooperators Meeting Held To Coordinate for Restoration of Service

A meeting was conducted this morning by the Jefferson County Office of Emergency Management and the Incident Management Team to coordinate an effort for returning services to the areas affected by the Lower North Fork Fire. Attending were representatives from American Red Cross, Century Link, IMT personnel, IREA, Rocky Mtn. Insurance Group, JeffCo Building officials, JeffCo OEM, JeffCo Assessors, and local propane suppliers (Cooperators). It was determined a two phase process would be used.

The first phase will involve the cooperators visiting the involved area to assess damage and determine what they will need to restore services. This will include both insurance and utility assessments.

The second phase will be coordinated and scheduled efforts to restore services. The timing of each phase will be dependent on fire operational activity in the area where work will be performed. The public will be kept informed on the progress of this work as it is accomplished.

Plans in Place to Assess and Restore Services to Affected Areas:

Earlier today a meeting was held by various government agencies as well as public utility companies. Plans are in place to assess and restore services to areas affected by the Lower North Fork Fire.

Stay tuned to this website for an announcement regarding updates on the effort to restore public utilities to affected areas.

Food Safety after Power Outage:

News Release from Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment:

Barbara Hruska, director of the Department of Public Health and Environment’s Consumer Protection Division, said, “The loss of electricity may cause perishable and frozen foods to become spoiled and cause illness if eaten, even if the food is thoroughly cooked. Do not trust your eyes or sense of smell. Food may be unsafe to eat, even if it doesn’t look or smell bad.”

Hruska provided these food safety tips to follow whenever the power goes out:

  • Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature.


  • The refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours if it is unopened.


  • A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.


  • If the food stored in the refrigerator has been held above 41 F for more than four hours, throw it away.


  • If food stored in the freezer has thawed but is still below 41 F, it can be refrozen. Although the quality of the food may be compromised, it still should be safe to eat.

More information about food and health safety can be found at: http://jeffco.us/health/health_T111_R298.htm

There is information on this website for health concerns related to smoke, health related information for properties affected by forest fire, fire ash clean up, as well as links to the CDC Wildfires and Safety webpage and the CDPHE Health Advisories webpage.

Lower North Fork Fire Update 3/31/12 0955

Updated Containment

The #Lowernorthforkfire is currently at 90% containment!

Updated Lower North Fork Fire Map

Here is an updated map showing the fire perimeter and containment lines. The data on this map is accurate as of 3/30/12 at 2200.

The date and time stamp on the map is the date and time the map was printed.

Reverse 911 Pre-Evacuation Notice Sent to 500 Residences:

On Friday (3/30/12) the following Reverse 911 message was sent to approximately 500 residences near the the Lower North Fork Fire zone.

"This is an information message from the Jefferson County Sheriffs Office. Please be vigilant to changing weather conditions and be prepared to evacuate at a moments notice. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for wind and low relative humidity which is in effect from noon to 8:00 p.m. Saturday.This notice includes areas in the current Lower North Fork Fire area. This message will be announced again about 10:00 am Saturday."

Friday, March 30, 2012

Preparation, Information, and Safety Message for Saturday 3/31/12:

Due to the National Weather Service forecast residents in the region near the fire are asked to remain prepared and vigilant.

You can view the announcement here: (http://jeffcosheriff1.blogspot.com/2012/03/saturdays-33112-weather-forecast.html)

There is no new evacuation order going out at this time but residents around the fire perimeter should take the responsible steps to be prepared to leave the area if necessary.

Residents are also asked to avoid the area near the fire perimeter as much as possible in order to allow emergency vehicles clear and safe access to the fire region. Should fire conditions change first responders will need safe and rapid access to the fire area.

Safety is our top priority. Do your part to remain responsibly prepared, informed and safe.

The Incident Management Team will remain in close contact with the National Weather Service (NWS) and will be notified immediately should the weather forecast change. We will continue to use every avenue available to us to disperse any information that is pertinent to your safety.

Jefferson County Opening Fire Disaster Recovery Center

Jefferson County is opening the Lower North Fork Fire Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Conifer tomorrow to assist residents whose homes and property are damaged by the fire.

The Fire Disaster Recovery Center is a one-stop location for community members to go for assistance and recovery information regarding the Lower North Fork Wildfire.

There will be agencies, departments and organizations available to answer questions; and there will be written information for community members to take for future reference.

For more information, call 303-271-4919.

Times for the DRC:
9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, March 31, and Sunday, April 1
9 a.m. – 7 p.m., Monday, April 2

Location: West Jefferson Middle School, 9449 West Barnes Avenue, Conifer, Colorado

The Jefferson County Commissioners have invited several agencies, departments and organizations to participate. The following have confirmed that they will have representatives at the Disaster Recovery Center:

  • American Red Cross

  • Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Division of Emergency Management and Division of Local Government

  • Colorado Department of Natural Resources

  • Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, Division of Insurance and local insurance carriers

  • Colorado Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (COVOAD)
    Jefferson Center for Mental Health

  • Jefferson County Building Division

  • Jefferson County Commissioners and County Administrator

  • Jefferson County Human Services

  • Jefferson County Public Health

  • Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control

  • Mountain Resource Center

  • Salvation Army

The Church of the Brethren will provide child care to community members while at the Disaster Recovery Center.

Sheriff Orders Fire Ban for all Areas of Unincorporated Jefferson County

Jefferson County, Co. – Effective on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 3 p.m., a fire ban will be implemented for all areas of unincorporated Jefferson County.

These restrictions are intended to reduce the likelihood of human caused wildfires.

This temporary fire ban, dated and executed below, supersedes all previous fire restrictions and fire bans. This order applies to all lands in unincorporated Jefferson County, to include all federal lands.

Because of continuing high fire danger conditions in Jefferson County, the following activities are strictly prohibited:

1. Anything which produces an open flame or has the potential to create an uncontrolled fire.

2. Building, maintaining, attending, or using any fire to burn trash, debris, fence rows or vegetation, or any campfire or warming fire.

3. Use of charcoal or other open fires on any public or private lands.

4. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or while stopped in an area of at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all combustible material.

5. Operating a chain saw without a USDA or SAE approved spark arresting device properly installed and in effective working order, and having a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher of not less than eight (8) ounces capacity by weight, and possessing one large size pointed shovel with an overall length of at least thirty-six (36) inches. The extinguisher shall be with the chain saw operator. The shovel may be kept with the fueling supplies, but readily available for quick use.

6. Welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with an open flame, except within an area that is barren or cleared of all combustible material at least ten feet on all sides from the equipment.

7. Use of an explosive initiation system requiring a burning fuse line.

8. Permissible fireworks, as defined by Colorado Revised Statutes, 12-28-101.
Exemptions to this temporary fire ban are listed below:

1. Persons with a valid written permit from the Sheriff and/or the local fire department which specifically authorizes the prohibited act.

2. Any federal, state, or local law enforcement officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.

3. Any fires contained within liquid fueled or gas fueled stoves.

NOTE: Burn permits issued and not executed prior to the effective date of this temporary fire
ban shall not be authorized unless one of the exemptions listed above applies.

Exemptions to this temporary fire ban shall be granted within non-federal land only by the Sheriff, and/or the local fire department only if the proposed action is deemed by the Sheriff and/or the local fire department or district to be safe and mitigable. Individuals operating under any of the above exemptions shall take adequate measures to prevent uncontrolled fires. Possible measures include, but are not limited to:

A. Containers of adequate water or dry soil nearby.
B. Shovels, fire extinguishers, or other extinguishing agents nearby.
C. Coordination with the local fire department or district to be on scene or standby during the activity.

Pursuant to County Resolution CC 97-433, violations of these prohibitions, upon conviction, is punishable by a fine of not more than $600.00. Such act(s) violate section(s) 102.8 and 308.2.1 of the International Fire Code.

This temporary fire ban becomes effective at 3 p.m. on March 30, 2012 and shall remain in effect until superseded or rescinded.

Saturday's (3/31/12) Weather Forecast

Saturday Weather Forecast as of 3/30/12 at 1500 Hours (3:00 PM)

The National Weather Service (NWS) has advised the Lower North Fork Fire Incident Management Team that a Red Flag warning will go into effect tomorrow, Saturday 3/31/12, at noon.

The following forecast was released by the NWS:

“Red Flag Warning in effect from noon to 8 PM MDT Saturday…An upper level ridge will cover Colorado now through Saturday. By Saturday night…southwesterly flow aloft will be on the increase…continuing into Sunday night. An upper trough will push across Colorado through mid day Monday. Winds are expected to increase over the Burn area on Saturday and continue fairly strong Saturday night and Sunday. With the upper trough approaching Sunday night…winds will decrease. Behind the trough on Monday…cooler…more moist weather is expected.”

Continue to follow www.jeffcosheriff1.blogspot.com for additional information.

Citizen and Media Briefings For Saturday 3/31/12:

There are no scheduled media or citizen briefings set for Saturday morning. There will be briefings in the afternoon.

The time of those briefings will be determined after weather conditions are fully assessed.

An update regarding expected conditions will be posted on this website shortly.

Due to the potential change in weather conditions there will be no media tour of the fire zone on Saturday 3/31/12.

We will share (via this blog and via the our twitter account @jeffcosheriffco) the time and location of the afternoon briefings as soon as they have firmly been set.

Lower North Fork Firefighters Appreciate Donations

Over 100 firefighters will rest easier tonight with a new pillow.

Bed, Bath & Beyond donated 104 pillows to firefighters working the Lower North Fork Fire in Conifer, Colorado. The pillows were among many donations from the community.

The firefighters and Incident Management Team would like to thank the following business for the kind and generous donations:

· Angry Llama
· Starbucks
· JJ Madwells
· Conifer Chamber of Commerce
· Cabin Creek
· Beaver Ranch
· Chick-Fil-A
· InStar Restoration
· King Soopers
· Coffee Shack
· Bed, Bath & Beyond

These donations allowed the firefighters to focus on firefighting efforts, rest and preparation for renewed attack on the fireline. The firefighters appreciate these donations and the continued support of the community.













Lower North Fork Fire Update 3/30/12 1900:

Over 550 firefighters attacked the fire from the ground today. These responders worked hard to extend established containment lines. The fire is now 70% contained with only 3.5 miles of containment line left to build.

Today’s observed fire behavior was creeping ground fire with smoldering in the areas of heavier fuels.

Fire crews are still combating steep and rugged terrain. Low humidity and high quantities of unusually dry fuels continue to be a factor on the fire. Forecasts are indicating that Red Flag conditions may be present on Saturday and Sunday.

These conditions have contributed to the decision to not lift the evacuation orders for the 180 homes in the Kuehster, Critchell, and Maxwell Hill neighborhoods.

The planned fire fighting strategy for tomorrow will include continuing to construct and improve containment lines while also continuing mop up efforts. Evacuation zones will be reevaluated as conditions change.

Lower North Fork Fire Update 3/30/11 1600:

Major progress was made establishing containment lines around the fire today. The fire acreage remains at 4140 acres.

The containment line is now at 70%.

Evacuation orders for the 180 homes in the Kuehster, Critchell, and Maxwell Hill neighborhoods have not been lifted.

The Urban Search and Rescue team has continued the search for Ann Appel. They have covered 150 acres just today. The total number of acres which they have searched is 360 acres.

The Intermountain Rural Electric Association is continuing to repair damaged power lines. According to the IREA a total of 267 homes lost power as a result of the fire. They have managed to restore power to 211 homes and will continue to work to restore power to the remaining 56 homes as conditions allow.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has utilized 9 patrol vehicles for the specific purpose of temporarily escorting evacuees to their property. As of 3:00 PM Sheriff's Deputies had escorted evacuees back into 30 properties. The Sheriff’s Office will continue the escorts beginning at 8:00 AM tomorrow. Residents should call the following numbers to set up an appointment: 720-454-4968 & 303-271-4930. Residents must set up an appointment before they can be escorted beyond the fire perimeter. Appointments will be made on a first come first served basis.

Updated Maps Showing Perimeter and Containment Lines

The following are maps showing the Lower North Fork Fire perimeter and containment lines.

The date and time stamp on the upper right corner of each map is the date and time the map was printed.

The data shown on these maps is accurate as of 3/29/12 at 10:00 PM


Scheduled Media Tour Cancelled for Today, 3/30/12

Today's media tour of the Lower North Fork Fire has been cancelled due to limited resources and safety concerns.

A media briefing at Conifer High School is still scheduled for 4:00 PM.

Next Media Briefing Scheduled for 3/30/12 at 4:00 PM

The next media briefing will take place at Conifer High School at 4:00 PM.

Updated Map Showing Perimeter of Fire as of 3/29/12 at 2200

The Lower North Fork Fire map has been updated with an accurate perimeter line as of 3/29/12 at 2200 hrs. Click on the link below to see a larger map with greater detail.

Be advised that road open/closed status could change with little or no notice due to current conditions on the ground.

This map does not show which areas on the fire perimeter have been contained. We are working to provide that information as soon as possible


View Lower North Fork Wildfire in a larger map

Red Cross to Close Shelter, Transition to Recovery Operations

[Conifer, CO – March 30, 2012] – The American Red Cross will end sheltering operations at West Jefferson Middle School at noon today and will transition to helping residents affected by the Lower North Fork Fire with their recovery.

Two evacuated residents stayed at the shelter overnight last night, down from 14 the night of March 28. The Red Cross, through its partnership with Journey Christian Church, served breakfast this morning and will serve lunch today.

Red Cross caseworkers will be at West Jefferson Middle School from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. today and Saturday to meet with any residents affected by the wildfire and start the process of planning for their recovery. Residents affected by the wildfire may also call (303) 722-7474, option 2, and request to speak with casework or leave a message for casework with their name, phone number and address, and the best time to reach them.

Resident briefings by the Incident Management Team will also continue to be given at the middle school at regular times, but will take place in the lobby instead of the cafeteria.

The Red Cross is prepared to return to sheltering operations if conditions change and residents are re-evacuated.
Lower North Fork Fire Red Cross Response by the numbers (3/26 through 3/29):
- 55 total overnight stays
- 1094 meals served
-1400 snacks served
- 20 clean-up kits distributed
- 50 volunteers & employees participated in response
- 40 Health Services contacts (helping with medications, oxygen, etc.)
- 300 firefighter comfort kits distributed

Posted with permission directly from the Red Cross Website: http://www.coloradoredcross.org/detalle_noticias.asp?id=11669&IdCapitulo=Q4Q26NY21N

Lower North Fork Fire Donation Update 3/30/12 1107

Specific donations are being requested to assist the families impacted by the Lower North Fork Fire. 100% of the items donated will go directly to the families impacted and displaced by the fire.

Mountain Resource Center, a local community center in Conifer, located at 11030 Kitty Dr., has agreed to accept the following items Monday-Friday 9-5 and this Saturday and Sunday from 9-2:

• Cash or checks- checks may be mailed to Mountain Resource Center, P.O. Box 425 Conifer, CO 80433

• Financial donations may be made at www.mrcco.org

• Gift cards in small denominations of $15-25.00 (Target, Wal-Mart, local grocery stores and gas stations)

• Pantry food items that are non-perishable

• Those wishing to donate furniture or appliances are asked to contact the center directly at 303-838-7552 or email info@mrcco.org. Mountain Resource Center is not able to accept furniture at this time but will coordinate requests with community members wishing to donate.

• Mountain Resource Center is not able to accept clothing items at this time.

Lower North Fork Fire Update 3/30/12 0940

Additional telephone number for affected residents

An additional telephone number for affected residents within the Lower North Fork Fire evacuation zone has been set up. If the original telephone number, 720-454-4968 is busy, please call 303-271-4930 to set up an appointment.

Lower North Fork Fire Update 3/30/12 0913

Firefighting crews continue to make strong progress containing the Lower North Fork Fire.

Today’s firefighting strategy will be focused on increasing the containment line as well as working on mopping up spot fires; specifically those located on the North East side of the fire.

Fire crews are working diligently to strengthen the fire containment line in order to prepare for increased winds that may begin to take shape Saturday evening going into Sunday. Contingency plans have been put in place in the event that those winds cause the fire to jump the existing and future containment lines.

A total of five other helicopters will continue to assist firefighters from the air. The four Blackhawk helicopters that were used yesterday are no longer needed and have returned back to Buckley Airforce Base. Over 500 firefighters continue to fight the fire from the ground.

The Urban Search and Rescue Team will continue to search for the missing person, Ann Appel. The USAR team will also be conducting a more intensive search of Appel's last known location. The team has already combed over 219 acres with today’s goal of searching an additional 80 acres. The Appel family has asked that the media respect their privacy and refrain from contacting them directly.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office will continue escorting the remaining evacuees into their neighborhoods for a quick inspection of their homes. By appointment only, this will take place on a first come first served basis between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM daily until those who are interested in participating have done so. Affected resident may call 720-454-4968 to set up an appointment. The Sheriff's Office will attempt to try to escort in approximately 40 property owners per day.

The Red Cross Shelter at West Jefferson Middle School will be transitioning from an evacuation shelter to a disaster recovery center. This transition will take place at approximately 1200 today.

The US Post Office in Aspen Park is holding mail for those residents with homes in the evacuation area. Evacuees, with appropriate identification, are welcome to pick up their mail during business hours.

Century Link and the Intermountain Rural Electric Association (IREA) have had the opportunity to evaluate utility damage within the fire zone. They will continue to make repairs as rapidly as conditions allow.

Continue to follow www.jeffcosheriff1.blogspot.com for further updates. You can also follow us on Twitter via @jeffcosheriffco.

Weather Forecast from the National Weather Service

Weather Forecast for the Lower North Fork Fire Region
As available at: http://www.weather.gov/

Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 63. West wind between 3 and 8 mph.
Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 45. West wind between 7 and 13 mph.
Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 70. West southwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming south southeast. Winds could gust as high as 16 mph.
Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 44. Breezy, with a west southwest wind between 9 and 17 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.
Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 65. Breezy, with a southwest wind between 6 and 16 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.
Sunday Night: A slight chance of rain before midnight, then a chance of rain and snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 28. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Next Citizen Briefing is Scheduled for 9AM Friday Morning

Next citizen briefing is scheduled for 9AM Friday morning at the West Jefferson Middle School.

Media Briefing for Friday Morning 3/30/12: 7:30AM

Media Briefing for Friday morning, 3/30/12, is scheduled for 7:30 AM at Conifer High School.

Lower North Fork Fire Donation Request

Press Release on Behalf of the Mountain Resource Center


Specific donations are being requested to assist the families impacted by the Lower North Fork Fire. 100% of the items donated will go directly to the families impacted and displaced by the fire.


Mountain Resource Center, a local community center in Conifer, located at 11030 Kitty Dr. has agreed to accept the following items Monday-Friday 9-5 and this Saturday and Sunday from 9-2:



  • Cash or checks- checks may be mailed to Mountain Resource Center, P.O. Box 425 Conifer, Co 80433

  • Financial donations may also be done at http://www.mrcco.org/
    Gift cards in small denominations of $15-25.00 (Target, Wal-Mart, local grocery stores and gas stations)

  • Pantry food items that are non-perishable

  • Springtime seasonal new or near new clothing - folded and placed in boxes

Those wishing to donate furniture or appliances are asked to contact the center directly at 303-838-7552 or email info@mrcco.org. Mountain Resource Center is not able to accept furniture at this time but will coordinate requests with community members wishing to donate.

Resources for Families Returning to their Properties

Jefferson County Public Health has provided the following resources for the community as they return to their properties:

Message from the family of Ann Appel: 3/29/12 1815

The following is a statement that the family of Ann Appel has issued:


We are urgently searching for Ann, and appreciate your prayers for her safety. We are deeply grateful for all of those helping in the search. Thank you for your concern and for respecting our privacy during this difficult time.


Please continue to pray.


The Appel family

Lower North Fork Fire Update 3/29/12 1800:

The Lower North Fork Fire is now 45% Contained.

A total of 3.5 miles of containment line was cut by fire crews today.

There was no perimeter growth today. The fire acreage is steady at 4,140.

The current standing evacuation includes 180 homes. These homes are located in the following neighborhoods: Kuehster, Critchell, and Maxwell Hill.

All local home owners with confirmed damaged properties have been escorted to their property by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. There are two homeowners who have not made it back to their property because they are coming from out of the area.

The Urban Search and Rescue Team has continued to search for the missing person, Ann Appel. They have covered over 219 acres during their search.

The fire behavior that was observed today was primarily creeping ground fire with some areas of smoldering in heavier fuels.

The challenge for the next 24 hours is managing the very technical and difficult terrain. The challenge for the coming weekend will be the potential for higher winds. Contingency plans are in place in the event that the wind pushes the fire over existing and future containment lines.

The Intermountain Rural Electric Association (IREA) Power company has worked to reestablish power to previously evacuated homes.

Continue to follow www.jeffcosheriff1.blogspot.com for additional updates.




Lower North Fork Fire Update 3/29/12 1600:

Current Verified list of Structures Damaged by the North Fork Fire
  1. 17000 Elk Ridge Road
  2. 13637 Kuehster Road
  3. 13657 Kuehster Road
  4. 13801 Kuehster Road
  5. 13807 Kuehster Road
  6. 14419 Eagle Vista Drive
  7. 14409 Eagle Vista Drive
  8. 16950 Elk Ridge Road
  9. 17020 Elk Ridge Road
  10. 17050 Elk Ridge Road
  11. 17051 Elk Ridge Road
  12. 13647 Kuehster Road
  13. 18656 Rocky Top Trail
  14. 18516 Rocky Top Trail
  15. 18776 Rocky Top Trail
  16. 18726 Rocky Top Trail
  17. 18006 Rocky Top Trail
  18. 13097 Arrowhead Springs Trail
  19. 13697 Arrowhead Springs Trail
  20. 13707 Arrowhead Springs Trail
  21. 17254 Arrowhead Springs Trail
  22. 17223 Arrowhead Springs Trail
  23. 14141 Broadview Circle
  24. 14201 Broadview Circle
  25. 17986 Rocky Top Trail

Current Interactive Map

View Lower North Fork Wildfire in a larger map

Media Briefing Scheduled for 3/29/12 4:00 PM

The next media briefing is scheduled for 3/29/12 4:00 PM at Conifer High School.

Colorado State Forest Service Contact

Residents with homes within the Lower North Fork Fire region who would like to provide input to the Colorado State Forest Servce (CSFS) are asked to contact CSFS at the following email address: csfs_lnffcomments@mail.colostate.edu

Media Tour Scheduled for 3/29/12 at 2:15 PM:

A media tour of the fire area will be departing from the Conifer High School lower parking lot at approximately 2:15 PM.

Updated Lower North Fork Fire Map Showing Road Status

Click on the Link to see an Updated Lower North Fork Fire Map
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_3vHjXvTmbCV2hiYm1ZRUJTR21mdnFGUXBCS1BXQQ/edit

The map has road access status as of 3/29/12 at Noon.

Lower North Fork Fire Public Announcement: 3/29/12 1200:

Lower North Fork Fire Update
Great Basin 2 Incident Management Team
Incident Commander: Rich Harvey
For Immediate Release: March 29, 2012 11:00a.m.
(Daily from 7:00a.m. to 10:00 p.m.)
Website Info: http://jeffcosheriff1.blogspot.com/
Contact: (303) 271-4910 (Emergency Operations Center)


Lower North Fork Fire Public Announcement

Some Residents Allowed to Return to Their Homes

Conifer, Colorado March 29, 2012 . . . With improved conditions and significant progress made in line construction thanks to the efforts of firefighters, some of the residents evacuated from their homes due to the Lower North Fork Fire will be allowed to return to their residences beginning at 11:00 a.m. today. Residents are required to show I.D. as proof of residency at check points.

The following roads will be opened today beginning at 11:00 a.m. for residents only:

· Foxton Road from Highway 285 to Reynolds Ranch Open Space Park parking lot.
· Pleasant Park Road from Oehlmann Park Road to Critchell Road
· High Grade Road from Maxwell Hill Road to Critchell Road.
· West Platte River Road from Foxton Road to South Platte Hotel.

Returning residents are urged to be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice if fire conditions change. Notification of immediate evacuation will be signaled by a Sheriff Deputy’s siren from the road. Any belongings residents would want to take, if evacuated again, must be readied upon return. If a siren is heard, residents must evacuate immediately. Parking on the road is not allowed until the incident has ended. This is to provide access for emergency and firefighting vehicles and for everyone’s safety. Residents are encouraged to drive slow, 10 miles per hour, to allow for firefighters activity and vehicle safety.

The following roads remain closed at this time for public and firefighter safety:

· Foxton Road from West Platte River Road to Reynold’s Ranch Open Space parking lot.
· Kuehster Road remains closed south from Critchell Road
· Maxwell Hill remains closed from South Deer Creek

We appreciate your patience and cooperation with the firefighting efforts.
###

Press Briefing at Noon: Conifer High School Parking Lot

Jacki Kelley is holding a press conference in the Conifer High School parking lot at noon. She will be speaking about the Incident Management Team’s repopulation plan.

Governor Hickenlooper Visit to Lower North Fork Fire: 3/29/12 1045:

Governor Hickenlooper has received an update with the Lower North Fork Fire Incident Command Staff. He plans to survey the fire using a Colorado Air National Guard Helicopter and then meet with affected citizens at the West Jefferson Middle School.

PIO available at Staples Parking Lot: Highway 285 and Kitty Road

An Incident Management Team Public Information Officer is available at the Staples Parking Lot located at at highway 285 and Kitty Road. Residents can come to this location to get additional information.


View Lower North Fork Wildfire in a larger map

Current Weather Conditions: 3/29/12 0820:

Here are the Current Weather Conditions for the Lower North Fork Fire Area:

Humidity: 24 %
Wind Speed: NW 3 MPH
Barometer: 29.97" (1011.4 mb)
Dewpoint: 15 °F (-9 °C)
Visibility: 10.00 mi.

Lower North Fork Fire Update 3/28/12 0750:

Containment around the Lower North Fork Fire remains at 15%.

As of 6:00 AM this morning the Incident Command has transitioned to the Great Basin Type 1 Incident Management Team (IMT). The Jefferson County Type 3 will continue to work with the Type 1 team.

Today firefighters will be working to gain further containment around the fire while also suppressing the spot fires inside the perimeter.

The two Heavy Air Tankers have been redeployed to fight another fire in South Dakota. The Colorado Air National Guard will continue to use four Blackhawks to dump water on the fire.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s office will continue to escort homeowners, whose structures we have confirmed were damaged by the fire, into the fire perimeter throughout the day.

Three citizen briefings are scheduled for today at the West Jefferson Middle School. The times are 9:00 AM, 1:00 PM, and 5:00 PM.

Updated Lower North Fork Fire Map

This map shows the fire perimeter as of 3/28/2012 at 2140.


View Lower North Fork Wildfire in a larger map

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Social Media Information Outreach

We will continue to provide updates via the Jefferson County Emergency blog (www.jeffcosheriff1.blogspot.com). We will also continue to post updates via twitter using @JeffcoSheriffCo.

Don’t have a twitter account? Or don’t know how to use twitter? All you have to do is visit www.twitter.com/jeffcosheriffco . Click on the link and you will see all of our recent updates (tweets). You do not have to create an account to see the tweets.

The beginning of any incident is typically the busiest and most information filled period. As such our social media engagement during the last few days has been high. As the incident goes forward and becomes more stable the need for rapid updates will slow relative to our prior pace. This means that the frequency of our posts and tweets will slowly decrease in proportion with how stable the incident is. Be assured that we will do everything in our power to continue to post and tweet each pertinent update in a timely fashion.

Lower North Fork Fire Update 3/28/12 2125:

Progress continues to be made fighting the Lower North Fork Fire.
49,000 gallons of water have been dumped on the fire via the Colorado National Guard Blackhawk helicopters.

The two Heavy Tanker planes have been pulled off the Lower North Fork Fire in order to respond to fires in South Dakota. The Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT) is still available to dump fire retardant.

The Type 1 Incident Management Team (IMT) is arriving and providing additional resources and man power. The official transition from the Jefferson County type 3 IMT to the type 1 IMT will take place at 6:00 AM. The type 3 IMT team will continue to work with the Type 1 team after the transition.

Thursday's morning media briefing is scheduled for 7 AM at Conifer High School.

Updated Map of Lower North Fork Fire


View an updated map of the Lower North Fork Fire. This map was update at approximately 3:30 p.m. on March 28.

The Google Map is still Valid as Well:

View Lower North Fork Wildfire in a larger map

Citizen Briefings Scheduled for Tomorrow (3/29/12)

Three citizen briefings have been scheduled for tomorrow (3/29/12).

All three briefings will be attended by an Incident Management Team Public Information Officer and will take place at the West Jefferson Middle School. The times are 9:00 AM, 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM.

PIO no longer at Highway 285 and Kitty Road: 3/28/12 1830:

The Public Informatin Officer that was staged at the Staples parking lot, located at highway 285 and Kitty Road, is no longer at that location.

Update from Intermountain Rural Electric Association:

A representative from the Intermountain Rural Electric Association (IREA) was present at the citizen briefing that took place at 5:00 PM on 3/28/12.

The representative said that they have confirmed that 267 structures are without power. They estimate that they must rebuild 2-3 miles of electric line.

The priority for IREA is getting power back to those homes without power. IREA will update their website (http://www.intermountain-rea.com/) with any new information.

Conifer High School is Closed to the General Public

The Incident Management Team (IMT) is headquartered at Conifer High School. The school is also lodging and feeding the 500 plus personnel who are fighting the fire. In order to allow the IMT to function efficiently and also to allow the firefighters to rest and recover the Conifer High School is closed to the general public. Media may still stage in the parking lot.

Residence seeking information about the status of their property within the fire evacuation zone may come to the High School. Residence are also encouraged to seek information at the Red Cross shelter at W. Jefferson Middle School as well as via the Jeffco emergency blog (www.jeffcosheriff1.blogspot.com) and @JeffcoSheriffCo on Twitter.

Lower North Fork Fire Update: 3/28/12 1700:

Fire crews, consisting of 500 individuals, have had a relatively successful day cutting fire line and establishing containment. The estimated size of the fire line that must be built is 8.5 miles long. Minimal perimeter growth is expected over the next 24 hours due to expected weather conditions.

Two Heavy air Tankers remain on site for air operations. 3 National Guard Blackhawks and one additional Helicopter have also been actively engaging the fire from the air.

Urban Search and Rescue Team continues to search for the one known missing person. The crew has searched over 60 acres of property surrounding the woman’s residence which is her last known location. The team is continuing to search even as this update is typed. There are also crews at the home site digging through the rubble to attempt to locate any sign of the missing person. The scene is still extremely hot and difficult to work within.

We are always reevaluating current evacuation areas to determine if it is safe for residence to return home. That said, none of the existing evacuation orders have been lifted.

A citizen briefing is taking place at the West Jefferson Middle School, starting at 5:00 PM.

Lower North Fork Fire Update: 3/28/12 1630:

The Lower North Fork Fire is now 15% Contained

Firefighter crews have been able to achieve 15% containment on the fire. The current affected area has been updated to 4140 acres. Air crews have dropped over 4100 gallons of retardant on the fire today.

The number of damaged structures remains at 27. We have been able to notify owners of 26 of the structures.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office provided an opportunity to those owners of confirmed impacted homes to be escorted to their residences earlier today.

The Urban Search and Rescue Team is still focused on finding the sole known missing person.

A citizen briefing is still scheduled for 5:00 PM at the W. Jefferson Middle School.

Media Briefing Scheduled for 3/28/12 at 4:00 PM

A media briefing is scheduled for 4:00 PM at the Conifer High School parking lot.

Resources to Help Children and Adults Cope with Disasters

Are your children having a difficult time dealing with the wildfires and the traumatic events surrounding the current situation in their lives? Do you need assistance dealing with the stress that occurs during disasters? This is a normal part of the recovery process involving wildfires and disasters.

Use these resources to help those involved with the Lower North Fork Fire:


Map Update Showing PIO Location 3/28/12 1200:


View Lower North Fork Wildfire in a larger map

Lower North Fork Fire Update 3/28/12 1145

Lower North Fork Fire Information

An Incident Management Team Public Information Officer is at the Staples Parking Lot located at US Highway 285 and Kitty Drive to answer any questions. Feel free to stop by!

Lower North Fork Fire Photos 3/28/12 1120





Photos of Sheriff Ted Mink addressing the public at the Conifer High School public forum on 3/27/2012

Lower North Fork Fire Update 3/28/12 1135:

Urban Search and Rescue Team Focused on Searching for Missing Woman
A Colorado State Urban Search and Rescue Team (USAR), known as Task Force 1, is concentrating its efforts on finding the missing woman that was identified yesterday. The team is made up of 32 persons and 6 search canines. The search will begin at the females last known location, which is a home inside the fire zone. We have confirmed that the home was destroyed by the fire.

We have reduced the number of damaged structures from 28 to 27. This change has been made because after further review one of the recorded addresses was not accurate. As of this update we have contacted the owners of 10 of those structures. We are actively working to identify the owners of the additional structures.

Patrol units from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office are working directly with the families who have lost their homes. They are starting to do police escorts into those homes. This only applies to the homeowners whose structures we have confirmed have been damaged.

Acreage Update
: The affected acreage as of 3/27/12 at 2030 is 3790. Previously we had posted the estimated acreage at 4500. That number was an estimate, the 3790 acreage is a much more accurate number. Please know that by this number is as of yesterday at 10:30 PM. That number will most likely change throughout the day.

Lower North Fork Fire Photos 3/28/12 1100






Photos of Colorado Lt. Governor Joe Garcia's visit on 3/27/2012

Temporary Fire Restrictions in Jeffco as of 3/27/12 at 5:00 PM

Press Release: Issued Yesterday
Jefferson County, Co. – These Temporary Fire Restrictions will become effective at 5:00 P.M. on March 27, 2012, and shall remain in effect until superseded or repealed. These restrictions apply to all lands in unincorporated Jefferson County. This includes a portion of the Arapahoe-Roosevelt Forest located in Jefferson County (off Brook Forest Road).

Pursuant to the Annual Operating Plan regarding the implementation of Fire Restrictions and Fire Bans; and due to the continuing high fire danger conditions within Jefferson County, the following activities are prohibited pursuant to Stage 1 restrictions:

1. Building, maintaining, attending or using any fire or campfire, except a fire within a permanently constructed fire grate in a developed park, campground or picnic area.
2. Sale, possessing, discharging or using any type of fireworks or other pyrotechnic device to include sparklers. This order does not differentiate between lawful use or careless/negligent use of fireworks, but prohibits all fireworks activity and use on public lands as identified above.
3. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area of at least three feet diameter that is barren or cleared of all combustible material.

NOTE: Burn permits issued and not executed prior to the effective date of these Temporary Fire Restrictions shall not be authorized unless approved by the issuing agency on the day of execution.

Exemptions approved under these Temporary Fire Restrictions:

• Persons with a valid written permit from the Sheriff or appropriate Fire Authority which specifically authorizes the prohibited act.

• Any Federal, State, or local Law Enforcement or Fire Officer acting in the performance of an official duty.

• Any fires contained within liquid fueled or gas fueled stoves. Charcoal grill fires at private residences.

• Campfires or bonfires required in religious ceremonies and for which a valid written permit has been granted in advance by the local Fire Department or District.


Individuals operating under any of the above exemptions shall take adequate measures to prevent uncontrolled fires. Possible measures include, but are not limited to:

A. Containers of adequate water or dry soil nearby.
B. Shovels, fire extinguishers, or other extinguishing agents nearby.
C. Coordination with the local Fire Department or District to be on scene or standby during an activity.

Pursuant to County Resolution CC 97-433, violations of these prohibitions, upon conviction, is punishable by a fine of not more than $600.00. Such act(s) violate sections 102.8 and 308.2.1 of the International Fire Code.

These Temporary Fire Restrictions will become effective at 5:00 P.M. on March 27, 2012, and shall remain in effect until superseded or repealed.



###
Follow us on Twitter at @jeffcosheriffco

Current Lower North Fork Fire Map 3/28/12:


View Lower North Fork Wildfire in a larger map

Lower North Fork Fire Update: 3/28/12 0830

A PIO will present a citizen briefing at W. Jefferson Middle School at approximately 9:00 AM.

Overnight the fire was relatively stable. Fire crews made progress through the night in protecting structures. Today’s strategy is to gain containment around the fire while continuing to protect structures.

Today’s fire behavior is expected to be similar to yesterday but with slightly higher winds. The winds could result in more robust fire activity. The fire will also most likely become more intense as the temperature rises throughout the day. The fire has continued to exhibit a tendency to start spot fires in a wide area.

Our Incident Management Team Liaison Officer will be working with representatives from Century Link and Intermountain Rural Electric Association (IREA) to evaluate current damages and to begin formulating a plan to restore services to affected areas.

The fire will be actively engaged from the air today. The air support resources available today include two Heavy P2V Tankers and one SEAT plane dropping fire retardant and four helicopters conducting water drops. These aircraft will be supported by additional command and observation planes. Additional resources are being ordered.

The weather forecast for today show winds becoming increasingly southwest with speeds in the 8-14 MPH range with gusts up to 20 MPH specifically around the higher ridges. Humidity is expected to drop relatively low by mid afternoon to around 10% or less.

The new command post location, at Conifer High School, is up and running. The Red Cross continues to host the evacuation shelter located at West Jefferson Middle School. A PIO will present a citizen briefing at W. Jefferson Middle School at approximately 9:00 AM.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office will continue to man road blocks around the fire perimeter. At this time we are not allowing anyone back into the evacuated regions. We ask that you continue to avoid to area around the fire in order to allow for quick and safe traffic for emergency vehicles.