Monday, March 26, 2012
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed one fatality within the Lower North Fork Fire zone. The fatality is being investigated by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
The fire is predominantly burning on the ground with some fire in the tree canopies. Officials anticipate the fire to burn for an extended period of time. Current winds are at about 20 MPH – 30 MPH and are blowing in all directions. Homes have been lost in the Kuester Road area but there is no confirmation on the number of structures affected.
Fire crews will be out all night focusing on structure protection. This is a defensive mode because crews are unable to get in front of the fire. Spotting has been seen ½ - 1 mile ahead of the fire which indicates the fire is still active and moving.
A Type 1 Federal Incident Management Team has been ordered and should be on site in the next day or two. Air support is also on order but that will be purely dependant on the wind.
Tomorrow’s fire behavior is expected to be similar to that of today. Erratic fire behavior will most likely result due to swift and shifting winds that are expected into tomorrow.
The shelter at Conifer High School has 90 people and 65 dogs on site. The shelter at Chatfield High School is functioning as an information clearing house at present but is available for sheltering evacuees.
Due to extreme fire conditions, entrance into affected areas to rescue animals is prohibited. If you need help or have animals in need of evacuation, call the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office for assistance at 303-271-0211.
The Lower North Fork Fire has grown to over 3,000 acres and reverse 911 calls have been made to over 900 homes, asking for those residents to evacuate.
All residents south of Highway 285 in the area of the fire are asked to be prepared to evacuate.
The evacuation points are Conifer High School and Chatfield High School.
Animal evacuations, both large and small, can be taken to the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.
Subdivisions that received reverse 911 calls include Maxwell Hill, Sampson, Kuehster, Critchell, Silver Ranch Estates, Oehlman Park, and Conifer Meadows north of Foxton Road. This may not be an all-inclusive list.
Major road closures:
· Pleasant Park Road is closed from Highway 285 to Deer Creek Canyon.
· Foxton Road is closed from Highway 285 to River Road.
There are 100 firefighters working the fire, with more on the way. The firefighters have been in a defensive posture focusing on structure protection and evacuations.