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.