24hrs In The Path Of A Colorado Wildfire

24hrs In The Path Of A Colorado Wildfire

Black Hawk : CO : USA | Mar 27, 2012 at 8:17 PM PDT
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Lower North Fork Fire

UPDATE: 5:00pm (MDT), March 28, 2012

Latest update from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

Fire crews, consisting of 500 individuals, have had a relatively successful day cutting fire line and establishing containment. The estimated size of the fire line that must be built is 8.5 miles long. Minimal perimeter growth is expected over the next 24 hours due to expected weather conditions.

Two Heavy air Tankers remain on site for air operations. 3 National Guard Blackhawks and one additional Helicopter have also been actively engaging the fire from the air.

Urban Search and Rescue Team continues to search for the one known missing person. The crew has searched over 60 acres of property surrounding the woman’s residence which is her last known location. The team is continuing to search even as this update is typed. There are also crews at the home site digging through the rubble to attempt to locate any sign of the missing person. The scene is still extremely hot and difficult to work within.

We are always reevaluating current evacuation areas to determine if it is safe for residence to return home. That said, none of the existing evacuation orders have been lifted.

A citizen briefing is taking place at the West Jefferson Middle School, starting at 5:00 PM.

UPDATE: 4:30pm (MDT) March 28,2012

This is the latest update from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office for the Lower North Fork Fire.

Firefighter crews have been able to achieve 15% containment on the fire. The current affected area has been updated to 4140 acres. Air crews have dropped over 4100 gallons of retardant on the fire today.

The number of damaged structures remains at 27. We have been able to notify owners of 26 of the structures.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office provided an opportunity to those owners of confirmed impacted homes to be escorted to their residences earlier today.

The Urban Search and Rescue Team is still focused on finding the sole known missing person.

UPDATE: 1:10pm (MDT) March 28, 2012

According to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, the fire has damaged or destroyed 27 homes, the blaze has consumed 3,790 acres, and authorities say the fire did not advance on Tuesday evening. In earlier reports stated that 4,500 acres were burned, but that was just an estimate. The 3,790 acres is much more accurate depiction. The 900 homes evacuated are north and east of the fire. The currently evacuated subdivisions include Oehlman Park and Conifer Meadows north of Foxton Road.

Gov. John Hickenlooper said "We have the National Guard standing by, again depending on whether we're asked, a key part of all of this is to make sure we don't impede the ability of the local government to fight this fire, so we are trying to be supportive and provide assistance as appropriate."

FEMA funds were approved to help fight the fire on Monday night.

United Way Denver is accepting donations to help victims of the fire. More information can be found at www.unitedwaydenver.org or by calling 211.

If you want to volunteer or make a donation, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office asks that you go to www.HelpColoradoNow.org, or call 866-760-6489.

UPDATE: 8AM (MDT) 3-28-12

Wednesday March 28th, at 8:00am (MDT), Fire still out of control with 0% containment. Slurry Bombers and helicopters are vigorously attacking the fire as ground crews reenforced over night are trying to get some control over the fire. The fire now encompasses over 4,500 acres. A team of 32 search and rescue experts, with six scent dogs, will be looking today for a woman who was reported missing by her husband in the Lower North Fork Fire.

Fire is still out of control with 0% containment. Slurry bombers and heilcopters vigorously attacking the fire as ground crews work overnight to control fire. 4,500 acres affected with 32 search and rescue experts and six scent dogs. One woman is reportedly missing.

Monday March 26th, at 2:15pm (MDT), the Elk Creek and North Fork Fire departments were dispatched to a reported 1 acre fire about 6 miles down Foxton. It was reported that this may be a burn over from a controlled burn in that area several days ago.

Monday March 26th, at 2:28pm (MDT), update by first responders fire is up to about 5 acres at this point Requesting second call out of additional units. The burn area is receiving high winds at this time.

Monday March 26th, at 2:42pm (MDT), Command Center is established at Elk creek staging will be at the entrance to Reynolds Park, additional units being requested. At 2:43pm (MDT) fire escalates and Command is now requesting a Type 3 overhead tanker plane for this incident. The burn area is still under high winds.

Monday March 26th, at 3:44pm (MDT), Fire Crews are reporting the fire has grown to 10 to 15 acres. Foxton Rd. has been closed at 285. Also Platte River Rd. has been closed at Buffalo Creek (126) to Confluence.

Monday March 26th, at 5:00pm (MDT), Fire Command Center orders a mandatory evacuation of Kuester Rd to Conifer High School. At 5:04pm (MDT) fire crews report that the fire is Crowning (jumping from tree top to tree top).

Monday March 26th, at 5:21pm (MDT), Command reports that a Helicopter is on scene sounds like he will be filling up on river road, also other aircraft are being dispatched from Jeffco Airport.

Monday March 26th, at 5:35pm (MDT), Spokesman estimates that 500 homes in the Pleasant Park/Kuester area have been evacuated.

Monday March 26th, at 7:34 pm (MDT), from Command the fire has crested the ridge east of Reynolds park and is now running WNW.

Monday March 26th, at 8:02pm (MDT), at this time Animal Evacuation is under way. Authorities are allowing entry to Conifer Meadows near Blackhawk from 285 for retrieval at this point.

Monday March 26th, at 8:51pm (MDT), The fire has been reported in excess of 200 acres, with over 900 homes now evacuated.

Monday March 26th, at 9:14pm (MDT), The Lower North Fork Fire is now over 3,000 acres with more than 900 homes evacuated.

Tuesday March 27th, at 6:48am (MDT), from the briefing fire size between 3050 and 3500 acres, 15-25 homes lost, 1 fatality (Un known if this was fire related or not), Forecast for day is for 30-40 MPH gusts, expecting 450 Fire Fighters on the line by the end of the day, 2 tankers one guide plane and 1 helicopter on order, A type 1 incident team en-route and 0% containment.

Tuesday March 27th, at 10:40am (MDT), Tankers are inbound to the burn area about this time. Aircraft left Front Range Airport 20 minutes ago. An 2nd air tanker has been dispatched from Jeffco Airport on its way to fire zone.

Tuesday March 27th, at 11:31am (MDT), Jeffco Sheriff's Dept. Breifing, Second Fatality Confirmed Within the Fire Zone, A second fatality has been discovered within the fire zone near the location of the first. Both fatalities are being investigated by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. The fire has grown to 4,500 acres. Sixteen structures have burned thus far; that number is subject to change. The Type 1 Incident Management Team from the Great Basin Area of Montana is expected to arrive this evening to assist in the management of the incident. Colorado Lt. Governor Garcia is expected to visit the fire zone today.

Tuesday March 27th, at 1:25pm (MDT), Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Dispatch has sent out a pre-evacuation notice to 6,500 homes located in regions north of the existing evacuation area. These include the following areas:

Dear Creek Mesa

Deer Creek Canyon Park

Homewood Park

Hilldale Pines

South Murphy Gulch Road

Watson Gulch Road

South East of S. Turkey Creek Rd

White Deer Valley

Jennings Road

This pre-evacuation order has been issued due to a spot fire that has flared up approximately 1 mile north west of Waterton Canyon.

Tuesday March 27th, at 4:26pm (MDT), News Conference Update, 2 confirmed casualties, one person is missing, 23 homes damaged, 4,500 acres at this point, not much growth today which is a good sign, Pre-evac order issued to 6,500 homes as a precaution to gain a power curve in case the fire gains momentum, 200 Fire Fighters now on scene, expected to increase to 450 by end of day with 0% containment. A New type 1 team is coming in tonight and will activate tomorrow in the am.

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Lower North Fork Fire
Larry-Crehore is based in Longmont, Colorado, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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