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 27, 2012

Lower North Fork Fire Update: 3/27/11, 1600

Additional Information is Available Regarding the Two Confirmed Fatalities.

Two confirmed fatalities have been found within the fire zone. The two bodies were found located near each other at the same address. One body was discovered inside the home, the other was found outside. The Coroner has positively identified the two individuals as a married couple: Samuel Lucas 77, and Linda Lucas 76.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is conducting a death investigation.

The Sheriff's Office is also partnering with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate the circumstances surrounding the origin of the fire.

The Sheriff’s Office has also been notified of an additional unaccounted for adult female associated with the fire. We do know that she does live within the fire perimeter.

We have confirmed that 23 homes have been damaged by the fire. We are currently confirming addresses before notifying the owners of the homes.

The current affected acreage is estimated to be 4500 burned acres. We do have a SEAT (Single Engine Air Tanker) and a Heavy Tanker dropping retardant. We also have two Helicopters, from Buckley Air Force Base, dropping water on the fire.

Throughout the day we have seen continued and increased erratic fire behavior. Due to this behavior a pre-evacuation notice was sent to 6500 homes. Those home that were notified included homes located in City View, Hilldale Pines, Deer Creek Mesa, White Deer Valley, Homewood Park, Murphy Gulch, S. Deer Creek Canyon Rd., Jennings Rd., and Watson Gulch.

We have approximately 200 Firefighters currently on the fire. At this time we are still at 0% containment. Throughout the day firefighters have been taking advantage of ‘targets of opportunity’ to control the fire near homes.

Earlier in the day the fire strategy was more aggressive but due to the erratic nature of the fire responders had to revert back to a defensive strategy. This strategy prioritizes structure protection over aggressively suppressing the fire.
Structure protection thus remains the primary focus tonight and will remain so into tomorrow.

We have not been fighting this fire alone! The Incident Command Post has been overwhelmed with food donations. We are very grateful for the generous donations that have come from across the community. Due to the overwhelming response, however, we are requesting that the community refrain from bringing any additional donations to the command post.

Please stay tuned for additional updates. We will continue to use this blog site to post new updates. We will also continue to use @JeffcoSheriffCo to post updates on Twitter.