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.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Final Update: Type 2 Team to take Control of the Lime Gulch Fire

Starting immediately further information regarding the fire can be obtained from the USFS.  Please find their contact information at http://www.fs.usda.gov/psicc .  The USFS is also on twitter at https://twitter.com/PSICC_NF

The US Forest Service has confirmed that a Type II Incident Management Team is on order and will be taking over control of the Lime Gulch Fire at approximately 6:00 PM on 6/20.

The team that will be taking over is the Rocky Mountain Team B - Incident Commander Dan Dallas.  You can view their website here: http://rmabravo.imtcenter.net/main/Index.aspx

Starting immediately further information regarding the fire can be obtained from the USFS.  Please find their contact information at http://www.fs.usda.gov/psicc .  The USFS is also on twitter at https://twitter.com/PSICC_NF

No further information will be shared via this blog unless the fire behavior changes dramatically.

Agencies Fighting the Lime Gulch Fire

Inter-Canyon Fire
Indian Hills
West Metro Fire
Evergreen Fire
Elk Creek Fire
North Fork Fire
Platte Canyon
Genesee Fire
US Forest Service

Facebook Picture Album

We have posted some pictures on facebook!  You can see the pictures here:


Lime Gulch Fire Update

The current size estimate is 150-200 acres.

The fire is currently contained within US Forest Service land.  No new evacuations have been issued at this time.  Those who received level 1 evacuation notices (be ready to leave) should be ready to leave in case the winds shift.

The following agencies are involved fighting this fire:

Evergreen Fire
Elk Creek Fire
North Fork Fire

The cause of the fire is believed to be lightning.

Acreage Update

This came in via the Pike & San Isabel National Forests and Cimarron & Comanche National Grasslands (PSICC):

Lime Gulch Fire Map as of 6/19 7 p.m.

Here is the Lime Gulch fire map as of 6/19 at 7 p.m.  This map is no longer being updated.

View #LIMEGulchFire in a larger map

New Level Three (leave now) Evacuation

A new level three evacuation has been issued for the Buffalo Creek Township.  A level three evacuation means leave now!

Fire is now called #LimeGulchFire

Attention all:  The Chair Rock Fire has been renamed the Lime Gulch Fire.

If you are on twitter please retweet this change and begin to post to the #LimeGulchFire tag.

Thank you.

Chair Rock Fire Activation

The Jefferson County Emergency Blog has been activated to support the Chair Rock Fire.

The fire is burning in the area of Foxton Road and River Road near Conifer, Colorado.

A level three evacuation (leave now) has been issued for the areas within a three mile radius of the Foxton Road and River Road intersection.

410 phones were called within this evacuation area.  Deputies are in the area going door to door to assist with the evacuations.

This location can be viewed via the following google map: http://goo.gl/maps/fR7hN

View #ChairRockFire in a larger map

A level one evacuation (be ready to leave) notice has also been sent out to Spring Creek Subdivision.

Evergreen High School has been set up as an Evacuation Center (29300 Buffalo Park Road).

A shelter for large animals is available at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds (15200 W 6th Ave, Golden, Co, 80401).

A shelter for small animals is available at the Foothills Animal Shelter (580 McIntyre Street Golden, Co 80401).

Agencies currently fighting the fire include North Fork Fire, US Forest Service and Elk Creek Fire.
Further updates will be shared as soon as possible via this blog and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office twitter page: http://www.twitter.com/jeffcosheriffco

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Final Blue Bell Fire Update

This will be the final blog post for the Blue Bell Fire incident.

The fire is 100% contained.  Firefighters will continue to be in the area for a few days as they complete the final mop up operations.

At 8 PM 6/4/13 all evacuation and road restrictions were lifted.

At 8 PM 6/4/13 the Jefferson County Incident Management Team passed control of the incident to Evergreen Fire.

An information line has been set up and will remain active as long as there is a need.  The recorded information line can be reached at 303-271-5800.

Additional information regarding this incident can be obtained via www.jeffcosheriff.com.

Thank you American Red Cross & Salvation Army Volunteers!

The American Red Cross and the Salvation Army have worked tirelessly to support the fire fighting efforts.

We have received a number of requests to provide resources to aid the incident response.  In lieu of resources we are asking that you consider donating to our partners at the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

You can find information regarding the American Red Cross here: http://www.redcross.org/support

You can find information regarding the local chapter of the Salvation Army here: http://www.imsalvationarmy.org/usw/www_usw_IM-20.nsf/vw-dynamic-index/B9260BA6BC57E9AC8825783F007D6485?openDocument

Thank You Fire Fighters!

At 8 PM tonight all evacuations and road restrictions will be lifted!

Blue Bell Fire Evening Update 6/4/13

All evacuation areas and road restrictions will be lifted at 8 p.m. tonight.

Crews have been very active on the fire lines today.  A containment line 100 feet wide is now in place around the fire perimeter.  The anticipated cold front has already arrived.  The front did not produce the winds that were anticipated and it is now aiding in the cooling of the fire.  Tonight the fire area will have a relative humidity of 85-95%.  Power has been restored to the entire area.

Based on the above information, all evacuations and road restrictions will be lifted at 8 p.m.  Residents are asked to use use care and caution as they reenter the area.  The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office will have deputies in the area to help facilitate the safe and orderly return to the region.

Today the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, along with Evergreen Fire, conducted a cause and origin investigation.  The investigative team has determined that a 48 foot tree came into contact with two power lines.  The tree acted as a ground wire, causing a fire to burn at the base of the tree.  This resulted in a two foot hole that burned into the ground and ignited a ground fire.   This fire became the Bluebell Fire.  The team's official report will be available for release in a few weeks.

The estimated size of the fire has been revised down to approximately 10 acres.

The current cost estimate for firefighting efforts is $80,000.

At 8 p.m. the Jefferson County Incident Management Team will pass the firefighting efforts back to Evergreen Fire Department.

Update from the Incident Commander

The following is an update provided by the Incident Commander Bill Easterling.

Incident Commander Bill Easterling opened the meeting by stating that the community "Should be proud and thankful to have Chief Weege" working with Evergreen Fire.  Yesterday and today 140 firefighters have been fighting the fire.  As a result no homes or structures have been lost.  There have also been no injuries to any of the fire fighters.

Easterling told the attendees that the goal is to get all homeowners back into their homes beginning at 8:00 PM.  He did caution that this was a goal but not a promise.  He stated that the decision to lift the mandatory evacuation will be made "if we feel it is safe enough for you to go home".  The Incident Commander defined safe by stating, "if it safe enough for you to shut your eyes and go to sleep tonight without worrying".

Easterling took some time to explain the difference between a containment line and a control line.  He stated that the fire is 100% contained but it is not controlled.  A containment line is a small line that surrounds the fire to help prevent fire spread.  A control line is a line that will prevent the fire from passing the line under any foreseeable circumstances.  There continues to be burning fire within the perimeter therefore it is important the line be a control line before lifting any additional evacuations.

The best way for homeowners to know when they can return?  Continue to follow on Twitter and on this blog.  Residents can also call 303-271-4930 to obtain this information.

The estimated fire size remains at 15-20 acres.  This number will be updated as accurate numbers come in from the field.

There are currently 360 homes without power.  The goal is to restore power by 8:00 PM prior to lifting the mandatory evacuation notice.  IREA does have a generator in the area to provide back up power to some homes.

The area supervisor for Century Link attended the meeting and stated that the infrastructure in the area is intact.  He provided his contact information in case anyone should have any questions: Tim Vanni: 303-596-9178.

Safety Precautions for Re-entry and Clean-up after Fire

•Use caution when bringing children and pregnant women into an area with ash and damaged structures until cleanup is completed. Do not leave children unattended at burned properties.

• Watch for repeated coughing, nausea, unusual fatigue or dizziness, particularly if there is a medical history of chronic lung disease (like asthma or COPD) or heart disease.

Don't breathe the ash from the fires. Ash can irritate your respiratory system. Adults should use a protective mask (N-95 or P-100) while in areas where ash particles cannot be controlled. N-95 masks must be properly fitted and are not designed for children or people with facial hair, subsequently they will not provide full protection.

Protective clothing is important: wear goggles, heavy work gloves, and watertight boots with steel toes and insoles (not just steel shank), long sleeves, and long pants to avoid skin contact. Handle all burned plastics with gloves as possible toxins can come off the plastic.

Debris: Watch for broken glass, exposed: wires, nails, wood, metal, plastic, falling trees and tree limbs.

• Watch for Ash Pits and mark them for safety. Ash pits are holes of hot or cold ashes, created by burned trees and stumps. Falling into ash pits can cause burns and/or injuries.

• Get a Tetanus shot if you have not had a booster in the last 10 years or cannot remember when your last shot was. Contact your healthcare provider or JCPH at 303-232-6301for more information.

Food Products

If you are not certain food is safe, throw it out!

·         Throw away food that has an unusual odor, color, or texture. When in doubt, throw it out.
·         Wash fruits and vegetables with water from a safe source before eating.

How to determine if food from the refrigerator and freezer is safe to eat:

·         Refrigerated food should be safe as long as the power was out for no more than 4 hours and the refrigerator door was kept shut. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products or leftovers) that has been above 40°F for two hours or more.
·         If an appliance thermometer was kept in the freezer, check the temperature when the power comes back on. If the freezer thermometer reads 40°F or below, the food is safe and may be refrozen.

·         If a thermometer has not been kept in the freezer, check each package of food to
determine its safety. You can't rely on appearance or odor. 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 still contains ice crystals or is 40 °F or below, it is safe to refreeze or cook.

·         Keep in mind that perishable food such as meat, poultry, seafood, milk, and eggs that are not kept adequately refrigerated or frozen may cause illness if onsumed, even when they are thoroughly cooked.

For more information please visit:

Centers for Disease Control

Food & Drug Administration


Emergency Access into the Evacuated Area

The current goal is to allow everyone back into their homes later this evening.

Citizens who live within the mandatory evacuation area and have a critical or emergent need may request a deputy to escort them temporarily into and out of their homes.

Residents requesting access emergent access to the area must call 303-271-4930 to make an appointment with a deputy.  Residents will meet with the deputy at Evergreen High School at the appointed time.  Please do not go to Evergreen High School if you have not already scheduled your appointment.

Animal Control will be available to assist homeowners with any critical animal needs.  Any animal related needs should be communicated when scheduling the appointment.

The home visits will be limited to 15 minutes. 

These escorts are for residents only and are not being offered to media.

Please be advised that every appointment is contingent upon the weather and fire behavior.  The appointments may be cancelled at any time for safety reasons.

Additional Blue Bell Fire Map Images

Here are some additional maps. These can also be viewed on our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/jeffersoncountysheriff.

TCP = Traffic Control Points
The green area is the area under mandatory evacuation.The red area is a rough fire perimeter.


Updated Blue Bell Fire Google Map

The google map has been updated to show the road closures.  The dark red is still under a mandatory evacuation area.  The orange roads are open to residents only.

Here is the direct link to the map:

View Blue Bell Fire in a larger map

Citizen Briefing: 1:30 PM Conifer High School

A citizen briefing will be held at Conifer High School at 1:30 PM.

Public Information Officers as well as the  Blue Bell Fire Incident Commander, Bill Easterling, and Evergreen Fire Chief Weege, will be on site to provide information and answer citizen questions.

This briefing will be for residents only.

The next media briefing will take place later this afternoon.    

We will tweet the time and location as soon as it is determined.

Animal Rescue and Shelter Operations

The Jefferson County Animal Rescue Team (JCART) has been actively involved throughout the Blue Bell Fire.  Many animals, large and small, were evacuated by the JCART along side with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Animal Control.

This picture was taken inside an Animal Control truck. This 'new admin assistant' “Mautzie” was evacuated from Snowshoe Trail early on during the fire.

Current Animal Rescue and Shelter Numbers:
The Jefferson County Fairgrounds housed 36 horses and 16 alpacas overnight.
The Foothills Animal Shelter housed 65 dogs, cats and other small animals. 
The Conifer High School shelters housed 3 cats.

The JCART team continues to have 50 volunteers on standby.  There are two active Animal Control units currently working around the fire evacuation area.

Fire Size and Investigation

The estimated fire size is now 15 acres.  This number will continue to change as more accurate numbers are obtained from the field.  All of the firefighters on the ground are from the local area.  The responding departments include 

Evergreen Fire Rescue
North Fork FireElk Creek FireFoothills Fire and RescueInter-canyon Fire/RescueIndian Hills Fire/Rescue
The Juniper Valley Crew is also on scene assisting the local firefighters.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office will be working with the Evergreen Fire Department to initiate a fire cause and origin investigation. The investigation is underway and will take a number of days to complete.

Morning briefing

Sent from my iPhone

Morning briefing

Sent from my iPhone

Morning briefing

Sent from my iPhone

Blue Bell Fire Morning Update 6/4/13

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and the Jefferson County Incident Management Team received a number of briefings this morning.

Approximately 100 personnel are currently involved in fighting the Blue Bell fire.  Firefighters remained on the fire through the evening and into the morning.  These firefighters were actively digging line and fighting the fire throughout the night.

Despite the overnight cooler temperatures and higher relative humidity, the fire continued to to actively burn inside the perimeter - primarily within the areas of heavier fuel.  A number of flare ups were observed and fought throughout the night.  Firefighters were able to manage those flare ups and as a result they prevented the fire from spreading beyond the simple containment lines that have been dug around the entire fire.

This morning the fire is laying down, but the area is still heavily covered in smoke.  This is an indicator that the heavy fuels are continuing to burn and that there is a great amount of fire heat within the fire perimeter.  As a result, the primary goal for the firefighters today is to expand the simple containment line to a full control line.  This will be done by creating an approximate 200 foot control line all the way around the fire.   The Type II Helicopter will continue to be on scene and available to assist the fire fighters on the ground as they create this control line.

Due to the presence of heavy fuels the public can expect to see smoke potentially as far out as a week - even as containment and control continues to be increased.

The weather will play an important role today.  Temperatures are expected to be cooler than yesterday with a maximum temp ranging from 63-73 degrees.  Firefighters will be watching incoming weather patterns that may take shape in the afternoon.  These patterns may include increased winds, thunderstorms and lightning.

The mandatory evacuation area from last night has not changed.  Roads north of Hemlock Lane off of Brook Forest Drive remain closed to all public.  A number of other roads in the area will be limited to 'residents only'. The Jefferson County Sheriff's office will be in the area to facilitate the ongoing road restrictions and closures.  The public is asked to avoid the area in order to allow firefighters safe and efficient access to the area.

The evacuation shelter at Conifer High School remains open and is being operated by the American Red Cross.  The Salvation Army is supporting the incident operations at the Evergreen Fire Headquarters.

Stay tuned to this blog and to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Twitter page for additional updates.

Firefighter was close to retardant drop

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, June 3, 2013

Next Update 6/4/13 in the Morning

No additional updates are anticipated this evening.  We will provide updates via this blog and our twitter account if anything breaks over night.

Early tomorrow we will share information regarding a morning briefing time and location.

Initial Fire Behavior and Pictures

The Blue Bell Fire began as a very hazardous fire.  The flame lengths were observed to be 'very high' and caused a number of spot fires.  The spot fires were as much as a 1/2 mile in front of the head of the fire.  Spot fires are very dangerous because they can cause responders and residents to be trapped between the initial fire and the new spot fires.  Additional observed fire behavior included numerous torching. Torching is when a tree preheats and then ignites completely into flames.  This behavior is an extreme sign of severe fire behavior.  The original evacuation notices were based on these observations.

You can view some photos and videos from the fire here:

Cooling Fire Behavior, Some Evacuations Lifted

Fire behavior relaxed considerably as evening approached.  Cooler temperatures, increased humidity, and diminishing winds contributed to the firefighting efforts.  The evacuation area has been reduced. Any residences past Hemlock Lane off Brook Forest Drive will remain evacuated overnight (not to include homes on Hemlock Lane). The rest of the previously evacuated areas are open for residents to return.
If you do not live on the following roads you may return home.
Fawn Path
Weasel Way
Jack Pine Drive
Skunk Alley
Ski Trail
Elk Run
Puma Crest
Lynx Lane
Snowshoe Trail
Bobcat Way
Grouse Lane
Deer Path
Woodchuck Way
Brook Forest - North of Hemlock

Residents are asked to remain vigilant tomorrow and remain ready to evacuate if need be. 
Residents who evacuated animals to either the Fairgrounds or Foothills Animal Shelter are encouraged to leave them there overnight.  Residents will be allowed to bring their animals home tonight if they choose to do so.

Blue Bell Fire Evening Update 6/3/13

The fire is now approximately 25-35 acres.  The fire is burning on private property about a half mile west of Clear Creek County.  It is also approximately 1 mile from the Arapahoe National Forest.

There is one known structure within the fire perimeter.  Earlier today 100 homes were threatened.  Firefighters made structure protection a priority and as a result no structures have been lost. 

A type II helicopter has been actively dropping water on the fire.  A SEAT (Single Engine Air Tanker) made three retardant drops on the fire earlier today.

There is no estimated containment at this time.  The fire, however, is currently laying down.  It is largely burning on a north east aspect which is aiding in the cooling of the fire behavior.

Some residents will be allowed back into the area soon.  Announcements regarding the re-population plan will be announced at the 8:00 PM media briefing.  Detailed information will also be provided via this blog soon.  Please be aware that some residents will not be allowed back into the area at this time.  As always, please use your own discretion and care as you enter the area.  When in doubt, leave.

Stay tuned for additional updates.

Cooperating Agencies

The following agencies are currently cooperating in the fire fighting effort:

Fire Agencies:
Evergreen Fire Rescue
North Fork Fire
Elk Creek Fire
Foothills Fire and Rescue
Inter-canyon Fire/Rescue
Indian Hills Fire/Rescue

Law Enforcement Agencies
Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
Colorado State Patrol

Picture from the Blue Bell Fire

Blue Bell Fire Incident Map

Here is the Blue Bell incident map. We will add more detail as it comes available.

 Direct Link: https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=218308087804585678217.0004de488a598ee78195e&msa=0&ll=39.776353,-105.296402&spn=0.308715,0.617294

View Blue Bell Fire in a larger map

Bluebell Fire Initial Update

At approximately 2:00 PM a fire was reported in the area of  the 33000 block of BlueBell Circle.  The fire was titled the "Bluebell Fire" at 3:20 PM.  As of 4:30 PM the fire was approximately 4 acres in size and was moving in a southwestern direction.  100 homes are currently threatened by the fire but no structures have been lost.

A CodeRED emergency evacuation alert was sent to 9,911 phone numbers at 3:05 p.m.  A second call was placed at 3:50 p.m. to 2,829 phones.

The evacuation alert called for a level 3 evacuation within a four mile radius of the 33000 block of BlueBell Circle.  The level 3 evacuation area is bordered to the South by Hwy 285, North to Buffalo Park Road, East to Hwy 73, and West to the Jefferson County Line.

Clear Creek County executed a level three evacuation of the Brookforest Estates in Clear Creek County.

An evacuation shelter has been set up at Conifer High School.

Large animals may be evacuated to the Jefferson County Fairgrounds and small animals may be taken to the Foothills Animal Shelter in Golden.

A helicopter is making water drops single engine air tanker (SEAT) is on scene assisting in the fire fighting efforts.

Media staging area will be at the Evergreen Fire Station (was initially reported as Evergreen High School - this has since changed).

For further updates on this incident please follow this blog.  We are also providing updates on Twitter via @jeffcosheriffco