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Lower North Fork Fire uncontained at 4,500 acres
The Lower North Fork Fire now has a 4.500-acre footprint in Colorado’s Jefferson County.
Lower North Fork Fire. PHOTO COURTESY JEFFCO SHERIFF.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The Lower North Fork Fire has grown to 4,500 acres and claimed a second life, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff, which is posting its latest updates on an emergency blog and via Twitter.
At about 1:25 p.m. a pre-evacuation order was issued to about 6,500 homes based on a spot fire about 1 mile northwest of Waterton Canyon.
The sheriff’s office confirmed the second fatality at 11:15 a.m. and also said that 16 structures have burned. As of 9:20 a.m. containment was still reported as zero, but officials said they’ve fire fighting strategy has changed from point protection to active fire suppression.
More real-time fire information is streaming via Twitter at the #LowerNorthForkFire hashtag, though the JeffCo sheriff is urging people to be cautious when retweeting posts from unofficial sources.
The fire is burning in grass, shrubs and downed pine needles, along with standing ponderosa pine forest. Heavy tree canopies combined with high temperatures and a lack of humidity are all contributing to the volatile conditions.
Hot Shot fire crews are on the way from Utah, Arizona and South Dakota and air support is also being mustered, with two National Guard helicopters en route from Buckley Air Force Base to do water drops.
As of 12 p.m., a Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT) and a heavy P2V airplane started dropping fire retardant over the Lower North Fork Fire Zone.
A specialized incident management team from the Great Basin Area of Montana is expected to arrive this evening to assist in the management of the incident, according to the JeffCo Sheriff.
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Environment, forest fires, Forest health | Tagged: Air support for Colorado wildfires, Colorado wildfires, Jefferson County Colorado, Lower North Fork fire, wildfire | Leave a comment »