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."