Lower North Fork Fire in Jefferson County, Colorado

The Lower North Fork Fire in Jefferson County began after a controlled burn on March 22 spiraled out of control Monday afternoon.

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  1. April 2, 2012, 7:01 p.m. -- The Lower North Fork fire has now been deemed fully contained, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department. All residents evacuated have been allowed back into the area.
  2. The fire is now 70 percent contained and 180 homes remain evacuated. The fire claimed 27 structures and two lives, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department. One person, a woman, remains missing. The Forest Service has apologized after saying a 50-acre prescribed burn officials were managing went out of control.

  3. 4:16 p.m., Friday, March 30, 2012 — At a press conference, Jefferson County officials said that the fire is now 70 percent contained. 180 homes remain evacuated, but some residents have been able to return briefly today.

    Power is being restored to parts of the evacuated area, but some homes still do not have electricity while others do. The Red Cross shelter at West Jefferson Middle School will not accommodate overnight stays tonight as no one slept there last night.

    Jefferson County schools also announced that Conifer High School will remain closed Tuesday, April 3, though other school will reopen following spring break as usual.
  4. 12:46 p.m., Friday, March 30, 2012 — U.S. Forest Service officials are preparing to announce a suspension of prescribed fires on federal land statewide — creating new challenges for managing wildfire risks.

    Federal forest supervisors made the decision covering the 14.5 million acres of national forest around Colorado after prescribed fires scheduled this week on several individual forests were canceled — due to diversion of forest crews to suppress wildfires and to the continuing dry and exceptionally windy conditions. 

  5. 11 a.m., Friday, March 30, 2012 — The U.S. Postal Service has announced it will resume mail deliveries to addresses previously affected by the fire. Providing roads are passable and access is permitted by local authorities, all mail will be delivered including that which had been previously held at the Post Office.
  6. 10:45 a.m., Friday, March 30, 2012 — According to a press release, attorneys with the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association are volunteering to help Lower North Fork Fire victims with free legal aid. The volunteers will specialize in homeowners, property, personal injury and insurance law, and will be available to review insurance policies, assist with claims and negotiate with insurance carriers. Victims can call the CTLA at 303-831-1192 or 800--324-2852.
  7. 8 a.m., Friday, March 30, 2012 — Residents who are still evacuated from their homes by the Lower North Fork Fire can go back in today under escort for a brief time so they can assess damage or pick up a few crucial items, Jefferson County officials announced this morning.

    The fire remains at 45 percent containment this morning, but with 600 firefighters on the ground, five helicopters above and slight winds forecasted, fire officials plan today to make further progress on fire lines and battling hot spots within the perimeter, said Mark Techmeyer, a Jefferson County Sheriff's Office spokesman.

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