Lower North Fork Fire - Disaster Recovery Center

Disaster Recovery Center Hours of Operation
West Jefferson Middle School, 9449 South Barnes Avenue, Conifer CO

Saturday, March 31 – Sunday, April 1
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Monday, April 2
9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Updates on the Lower North Fork Fire

Updates on the Lower North Fork Fire can be found on the Jefferson County Sheriff's blog at http://jeffcosheriff1.blogspot.com/ or follow on Twitter @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 recent updates. You do not have to create an account to see the tweets.

Resources to Help Children and Adults Cope with Disasters

Are your children having a difficult time dealing with the wildfires and the traumatic events surrounding the current situation in their lives? Do you need assistance dealing with the stress that occurs during disasters? This is a normal part of the recovery process involving wildfires and disasters.

Use these resources to help those involved with the Lower North Fork Fire:

Lower North Fork Fire Update

Updated information from Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Blog Spot

Visit the Jeffco Sheriff Blog for most current information or follow updates on Twitter by following @jeffcosheriffco or the hastag #LowerNorthForkFire.

Lower North Fork Fire Update: 3/28/12 0830

A PIO will present a citizen briefing at W. Jefferson Middle School at approximately 9:00 AM.

Overnight the fire was relatively stable. Fire crews made progress through the night in protecting structures. Today’s strategy is to gain containment around the fire while continuing to protect structures.

Today’s fire behavior is expected to be similar to yesterday but with slightly higher winds. The winds could result in more robust fire activity. The fire will also most likely become more intense as the temperature rises throughout the day. The fire has continued to exhibit a tendency to start spot fires in a wide area.

Our Incident Management Team Liaison Officer will be working with representatives from Century Link and Intermountain Rural Electric Association (IREA) to evaluate current damages and to begin formulating a plan to restore services to affected areas.

The fire will be actively engaged from the air today. The air support resources available today include two Heavy P2V Tankers and one SEAT plane dropping fire retardant and four helicopters conducting water drops. These aircraft will be supported by additional command and observation planes. Additional resources are being ordered.

The weather forecast for today show winds becoming increasingly southwest with speeds in the 8-14 MPH range with gusts up to 20 MPH specifically around the higher ridges. Humidity is expected to drop relatively low by mid afternoon to around 10% or less.

The new command post location, at Conifer High School, is up and running. The Red Cross continues to host the evacuation shelter located at West Jefferson Middle School. A PIO will present a citizen briefing at W. Jefferson Middle School at approximately 9:00 AM.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office will continue to man road blocks around the fire perimeter. At this time we are not allowing anyone back into the evacuated regions. We ask that you continue to avoid to area around the fire in order to allow for quick and safe traffic for emergency vehicles.

Lower North Fork Fire Update: 3/28/12 0645

Conditions on the fireline overnight were relatively stable.

Today's fire strategy will focus on moving from primarily point protection to establishing containment.

There will be a media update at 7:30 AM at Conifer High School Parking Lot.

Stay tuned to this blog for further updates. We will also be posting updates via @jeffcosheriffco on twitter.

Fact Sheet: Health Threats from Wildfire Smoke

View this fact sheet from Jeffco Public Health on Health Threats from Wildfire Smoke

Lower North Fork Wildfire Information

Shelter Locations

Two shelters have been opened for the #LowerNorthForkFire. 

Large Animal Evacuation 

Anyone needing assistance with large animal evacuation should contact the Jefferson County Sheriff Office at 303-277-0211.

The large animal evacuation point is the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.

Contact Information for Emergencies or Assistance

Remember that if you need assistance as a result of this incident please contact the Jefferson County Sheriff Office by calling 9-1-1 for emergencies or 303-277-0211 for other assistance.   Please do not send requests for assistance through Twitter.

Incident Updates
Updates are being posted by @Jeffcosheriffco on Twitter using hashtag #LowerNorthForkFire.
Updates can also be found on the Jeffco Sheriff Blog at http://jeffcosheriff1.blogspot.com/

CDEM Monitoring Several Wildland and Grass Fires

Incidents in Colorado 

  • Lower North Fork Fire in Jefferson County:  Follow #LowerNorthForkFire or @jeffcosheriffco on Twitter for updates on the fire.
  • Saw Mill Fire in Jefferson County:  Follow #SawmillFire @jeffcosheriffco on Twitter for updates on the fire.
  •  Storm Mountain area in Larimer County:   Follow @NEEmergency on Twitter.

There are several other small wildland and grass fires that we are tracking in Custer County near Wetmore, Morgan County, Logan County, and Weld County.
Follow @COEmergency on Twitter for updates.

Extreme fire conditions extend throughout much of Colorado.  Contact your local county for specific information regarding the conditions in your area.  See the Local Information tab for each county's contact information.

Heartstrong Fire Update

Heartstrong Fire 

Below is information received from GayLene Rossieter, Acting Fire Information Officer, Colorado State Forest Service.

(Updated 1:20 p.m., March 19)

Fire Jurisdiction: Yuma County

Location/County:  South of Highway 34 between towns of Eckley and Yuma in Yuma County

Start Date: Sunday, March 18, approximately 1:15 p.m.

Cause: Under investigation, but potentially due to a downed power line from high winds

Acres/Land Ownership: Approximately 24,000 acres of half grass/crop fields on private lands

Containment: 100 percent

Evacuations: The evacuation order for the town of Eckley was lifted late last night; the approximate 200-square mile evacuated area around the fire was lifted today

Closures: Highway 34 reopened from the town of Eckley to County Road L

Injuries to Date: Three firefighters injured

Structures Lost/Damaged: Two homes destroyed; other structure damages still to be determined

Other Values at Risk: Number of livestock lost currently undetermined

Significant Events: High winds and thick smoke mixed with dirt decreased during the night, helping firefighter contain the fire. Today, fire crews and deputies drove through the burn area to manage hot spots and flare-ups. The Civil Air Patrol surveyed the extent of the fire’s damage earlier today.

Resources: Primarily local emergency response agencies, including nine volunteer fire departments and four other volunteer fire departments on standby. Regional agencies from northeast Colorado and western Kansas also assisted to control the fire.

EFF/FEMA Status: N/A

Source: Yuma County Sheriff’s Office

Today’s Fire Outlook

  • The fire situation rating for the Rocky Mountain Area remains at Preparedness Level 1, indicating that there is minimal large fire activity nationally. Most Geographic Areas have low to moderate fire danger. There is little or no commitment of national resources.
  • A Red Flag Warning is in effect until 7 p.m. tonight for southern Colorado, including Baca, Prowers and Eastern Las Animas counties. For more information, go to www.weather.gov/alerts-beta/co.php?x=1. A map can be viewed at www.wrh.noaa.gov/firewx/main.php.
  • This afternoon will be partly sunny in the area of the Heartstrong Fire with a high near 58 and northwest winds between 5 and 10 mph. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a low near 30. Blustery north winds between 5 and 10 mph may increase to 15 and 20 mph with gusts possible as high as 30 mph.

This report is also available online at http://csfs.colostate.edu or download the Heartstrong Fire Update.

Floodplain Managers and Emergency Managers: Different Duties, Shared Responsibilities

The Question: What do floodplain managers and emergency managers have in common?
The Answer: Water… too much of it, and the responsibility to keep the community safe from its impacts.
The Message: It is beneficial for floodplain managers and emergency managers to know, understand, and support each other.

Flood prone areas have been identified in 267 of 270 cities and towns and in all of the 64 counties in Colorado. Between 20 and 30 large magnitude floods (in terms of peak discharge) occur somewhere in Colorado every year. In fact, 40 percent of Colorado’s presidentially declared disasters and emergencies stem from flood-related events. Too often, floods negatively impact people, property, infrastructure and critical facilities, economic and cultural assets, and the natural environment.

Enhancing coordination between floodplain managers and emergency managers will strengthen the community’s preparation, response, and resilience to flooding, as many of their responsibilities run parallel with one another. Regular communication and a better understanding of each other’s roles may improve the sharing of information and insight, create of efficiencies, and reduce the amount of unnecessary overlap in activities. Collaboration between these professions will result in partnerships and increase the whole community’s ability to manage a flood event.

For more information go to the ColoradoWater Conservation Board’s March 2012 Floodstage Newsletter on page 6 and 7 to answer the following questions:
    • Who are Floodplain Managers?
    •  Who are Emergency Managers?
    •  How can Floodplain Managers and Emergency Managers help each other?
    • What actions should you take?

Contact the following personnel for questions, comments, or additional information:
Floodplain Management and National Flood Insurance Program Contacts:
  • Jamie Prochno, Community Assistance Program Manager, Colorado Water Conservation Board, (303) 866-4474 x3215, jamie.prochno@state.co.us
  • Michael Gease, Natural Hazards Specialist, FEMA, (303) 235-4814, michael.gease@fema.dhs.gov
  • For local floodplain manager contact information, please contact Jamie Prochno.

Emergency Management Contacts:
To find contact information for your local emergency manager click on the Local Info Sources tab at coemergency.com.  
  • Ken Brink, Mitigation Team Supervisor (Denver Metro), Colorado Division of Emergency Management, 720-852-6695, kenneth.brink@state.co.us
  • Iain Hyde, Mitigation Specialist (Southern Colorado), Colorado Division of Emergency Management, (720) 852-6698, iain.hyde@state.co.us
  •  Deanna Butterbaugh, Mitigation Specialist (Northern Colorado), Colorado Division of Emergency Management, (720) 852-6697, deanna.butterbaugh@state.co.us

Wide Area Search Training Course

Wide Area Search Course Information
There are still open seats available for the Wide Area Search Training being coordinated by the Southeast Region Office of Homeland Security.  Participants will learn practical search methods and skills in order to perform systematic searches over a large affected area.  View the Wide Area Search course flyer for more information on course topics and certifications.

Course Dates:       May 4-6, 2012

Course Time:        8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Course Location:  Industrial Park North, 29400 Highway 287, Springfield, CO

Course Registration:  COTRAIN,  Course ID#  1030715

State and Federal Flood Mitigation Grant Programs

FEMA and the State of Colorado provide several grant programs to support state and local flood mitigation efforts.

Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) program provides FEMA funds to assist States and communities implement measures that reduce or eliminate the long-term risk of flood damage to buildings, manufactured homes, and other structures insured under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). These funds support both flood mitigation planning and projects to implement measures to reduce flood losses, such as elevation, acquisition, or relocation of NFIP-insured structures.

Repetitive Flood Claims (RFC) is a FEMA program to assist States and communities reduce flood damages to insured properties that have had one or more claims to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). RFC provides funds to reduce the risk of flood damage to individual properties insured under the NFIP that have had one or more claim payments for flood damages.
State Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (SHMP) is sponsored by the Colorado Division of Emergency Management in support of a variety of mitigation projects, including floods. This program may provide support for flood related mitigation activities such as hydrological studies, benefit-cost analysis, and planning. For more information about this program or to make a request for financial assistance, please contact Scott Baldwin at 303-852-6696.

Technical Assistance Grants for Flood Response from the Colorado Water Conservation Board may provide a limited amount of funds to assist local governments with flood assessment, feasibility, design and planning needs. These funds are intended to assist local governments who are expected to provide a significant cost share toward final products. With limited exceptions, these funds are not to be used to help fund construction. These funds are awarded to requesting local governments on a case-by-case basis, based on the amount of funds available in any particular year and the amount of money requested. Not all requests will be funded, but consideration will be given to all requests. For more information about this program or to make a request for financial assistance, please contact Kevin Houck at 303-866-3441 x3219.

For additional information, please feel free to contact CDEM Mitigation Team staff:

·         Ken Brink, Mitigation Team Supervisor (Denver Metro), Colorado Division of Emergency Management, 720-852-6695, kenneth.brink@state.co.us
·         Iain Hyde, Mitigation Specialist (Southern Colorado), Colorado Division of Emergency Management, (720) 852-6698, iain.hyde@state.co.us
·         Deanna Butterbaugh, Mitigation Specialist (Northern Colorado), Colorado Division of Emergency Management, (720) 852-6697, deanna.butterbaugh@state.co.us

DEM Weekly Update ~ March 16, 2012

Colorado Division of Emergency Management Weekly Update ~ March 16, 2012

Topics covered in this week's issue of DEM Weekly Update include:
  • 2012 Colorado Emergency Management Conference Photo Link
  • WebEOC Updates
  • Job Announcement:  Jefferson County Director of Emergency Management
  • Colorado 2013 HMEP Planning Grant LEPC/Agency Grant Application Package
  • FEMA News and Announcements 
  • Flood Awareness Week
  • Kudos
  • Regional Interagency Steering Committee (RISC) Meeting
  • Juvenile Firesetter Educational Resource
  • Training Information
Please contact Micki Trost, CDEM PIO, with any questions or to submit information for next week at micki.trost@state.co.us.  

Counter Terrorism Workshop Canceled

The Counter Terrorism Workshop in Frederick-Firestone has been canceled for March 22.

If you would like more information about this workshop, please contact Shirl Garcia at pwd.resource@gmail.com.

View Photos from 2012 Colorado Emergency Management Conference

Visit this link to view photos from the 2012 Colorado Emergency Management Conference taken by CDEM PIO Micki Trost.

Course Announcement: Event Security Planning for Rural Agencies

MGT-335 Event Security Planning for Rural Agencies

There are still open seats for this free training course in Montrose.  The course is designed to help provide better security planning for the many events that require police services and security.  The course is scheduled for April 10 - 11, 2012.

Registration is online at  http://www.ruraltraining.org/training/delivery/12055.

Free Workshop: Managing Spontaneous Unaffiliated Volunteers

Managing Spontaneous Unaffiliated Volunteers:  Lessons Learned from Recent Disasters

Attend this free workshop on May 15 to hear from an incredible line up of presenters/panel members from Joplin, Missouri, North Dakota and Colorado.  Registration is being conducted through www.co.train.org with Course ID# 1031889.  Details regarding the workshop are included in the course flyer.

Seating is limited and will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.

Colorado Flood Decision Support System

Developed for the Department of Natural Resources, Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB), the Colorado Flood Decision Support System provides a one-stop shop for floodplain and emergency managers for snowpack, streamflow, flood maps, and other related data to allow them to estimate risk and near future conditions up to and above a NWS flood warning and alert. 

The Flood DSS is a web based GIS mapping application that displays a variety of flood-related data, including: historic flooding, critical facilities, community flood insurance information, wildfire risk, and FEMA flood hazard layers. In addition to the regulatory and hazard information, a real-time data component was included, which is useful for assessing current and near-future conditions. The real time data consists of precipitation radar, streamflow conditions, air temperature, gauge measured precipitation, NWS and NOAA radar estimated precipitation products, flood warnings, U.S.D.A.’s  Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) SNOTEL data (SNOwpack TELemetry), and the Snow Data Assimilation System (SNODAS) modeled spatial snowpack data. CWCB and HDR’s seasonal Flood Threat Bulletin products are also available in spatial and text format from May to September. Features within the application allow users to find locations by address, provide distance measuring tools, and the ability to identify features for more information.

Future phases may include incorporating more data layers and possibly even a mobile application for smart phones. Customer feedback and suggestions are welcomed for future phases of the CWCB FloodDSS and can be sent to chris.sturm@state.co.us  or carolyn.fritz@state.co.us.

Course Announcement: Debris Management (G202)

G202: Debris Management Planning for State Tribal and Local Officials

Date:    April 10 – 12, 2012

Time:   8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Course Summary
This course provides an overview of issues and recommended actions necessary to plan for, respond to, and recover from a major debris generating event with emphasis on State, Tribal, and local responsibilities. Developed from a pre-disaster planning perspective, the course includes debris staff organizations, compliance with laws and regulations, contracting procedures, debris management site selection, volume reduction methods, recycling, special debris situations, and supplementary assistance.

Where:       PFA Training Center, 3400 W. Vine Drive, Ft. Collins

Register:    Registration will be through www.co.train.org.  Course ID: 1032653

                  This course is first come, first served. No charge.

For more information contact:     Robyn Knappe 720-852-6617 or robyn.knappe@state.co.us

G202 Course Flyer is available to view or download for additional informaiton.

Reducing Flood Insurance Premiums in Your Community through Planning

Local Hazard Mitigation Plans and the Community Rating System

The CDEM Mitigation Team has developed a crossover guide to help community floodplain managers and other hazard mitigation professionals receive Community Rating System (CRS) planning credit through FEMA’s multi‐hazard mitigation planning process.

Crossover Guide

A community’s FEMA approved multi-hazard mitigation plan may receive CRS points if it was prepared in accordance with the process explained in the NFIP CRS Coordinator’s Manual or FEMA’s Local Multi-Hazard Mitigation Planning Guidance. The crossover guide provides assistance on how steps for mitigation planning intersect with the steps required for CRS floodplain management planning. CRS planning credit may come from submitting an existing FEMA approved multi-hazard mitigation plan or by following the mitigation planning process and paying special attention to the related CRS steps.

Both the CRS manual and local mitigation planning guidance are being revised for 2012. Proposed changes to the CRS Coordinator’s Manual may be found at CRS2012.org, while the Local Mitigation Plan Review Guide contains the latest updates for mitigation planning. The crossover guide will be revised to reflect these changes once both are finalized.

As it currently stands, for every 500 CRS points a community earns, NFIP flood insurance premiums are adjusted downward to reflect the greater amount of planning completed to reduce the impact of flood hazards on the community. Some communities may reach their next 500-point threshold by earning points available for CRS planning credit.

CDEM expresses gratitude to the FEMA Region VIII Mitigation Section’s community planners and the Insurance Services Office (ISO) for their contributions and support in developing this tool.

Please feel free to contact Ken Brink, Mitigation Team Supervisor, with questions or comments at kenneth.brink@state.co.us or 720-852-6695.

Flood Safety Awareness Week- Resources

It’s flood safety awareness week (http://www.floodsafety.noaa.gov/). This week, learn how floods occur, some of the hazards associated with floods, and what actions to take to protect life and property when floods threaten or occur. Be part of a Weather-Ready Nation.

Floods are the most common and widespread of all natural hazards. Some floods develop slowly, but flash floods can happen in just minutes.

Floodprone areas have been identified in 267 cities and towns and in all of the 64 counties in Colorado.
Over 250,000 people are living in Colorado’s floodplains. There are estimated to be 65,000 homes and 15,000 commercial, industrial, and business structures in identified floodplains. There are likely many more structures located within unmapped flood hazard areas. The value of the property, structures, and contents located in the identified floodplains is estimated to be over 11 billion dollars (1996).

Cumulative flood losses for the most damaging floods in Colorado between the turn of the century and 1993 include 331 people killed and $3.3 billion (1995 dollars) worth of property damage.

What you should know:
  • Know your neighborhood flood history
  • Consider purchasing flood insurance
  • Stay alert for changing weather conditions
  • Get out of areas subject to flooding like low spots, canyons, and areas downstream from dams
  • Do not attempt to cross water that is above your knees
  • Do not drive over a flooded road
  • Abandon a stalled vehicle and immediately move to higher ground
  • Even 6 inches of fast-moving flood water can knock you off your feet, and a depth of two feet will float your car!

NEVER try to walk, swim, or drive through such swift water. If you come upon flood waters, STOP! TURN AROUND AND GO ANOTHER WAY.

Resources to learn about floods:

The CWCB performs many tasks relevant to flood preparedness and response throughout the state, this website provides flood information pertinent to the citizens of Colorado.    Each day the CWCB posts the state’s Flood Threat Bulletin detailing the current flood risk throughout the State, the CWCB is the State Coordinating Agency for the National Flood Insurance Program, and provides leadership and coordination of federal, state, and local resources through the Colorado Flood Task Force.

This site is an informative resource for state and local officials and citizens looking for information on the National Flood Insurance Program.  Information posted on this website is especially useful to those responsible for helping a community recover from a disaster such as insurance professionals, lenders, claims adjusters and surveyors.

FEMA’s official flood preparedness website includes information on what to do before, during, and after flooding occurs as well as links on how to determine if your home is eligible for flood insurance.  This site also recommends what items need to be included in a flood ready kit, how to develop a plan in the event your community is affected by a flood event, and information on how to get involved assisting communities recovering from a disaster.

DEM Weekly Update ~ March 9, 2012

Colorado Division of Emergency Management Weekly Update ~ March 9, 2012

Information included this week includes:
  • 2012 Colorado Emergency Management Conference
  • EOC Position Specific Task Books Available in Multiple Formats
  • National Flood Awareness Week is March 12 - 16
  • Integrated Warning Team Workshop from NOAA
  • Training Information
If you have any questions or would like to submit an article, please contact Micki Trost, CDEM PIO, at micki.trost@state.co.us.

EOC Position Specific Task Books Available in Two Formats

Please visit the COEmergency website to download both PDF and Excel formats of the EOC Position Specific Task Books.  As a result of feedback received at the Colorado Emergency Management Conference this week we are releasing the Excel version of the task books so that it will be easier to modify the task books for each county or agency.

The task books are available under the EOC Position Specific Task Books tab on COEmergency.  

If you have specific questions about the task books contact Lori Hodges at lori.hodges@state.co.us.

Colorado Emergency Management Conference Information

Information regarding the 2012 Colorado Emergency Management Conference is posted on COemergency.com including:

  • Conference Presentations
  • Conference Publications
  • General Conference Information
For questions about the conference contact Micki Trost, CDEM PIO, at 303-47-4082 or by email at micki.trost@state.co.us.

DEM Weekly Update ~ March 2, 2012

Division of Emergency Management Weekly Update ~ March 2, 2012

Information included in this week's update includes:

  • Colorado Emergency Management Conference
  • CEMA Night with the Denver Nuggets
  • Emergency Operations Center Position Specific Task Books
  • Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program Updates
  • Job Announcements
  • NEMA Releases EMAC After Action Report for 2011 Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee
  • READYColorado Outreach Materials
  • Community Preparedness Class Series in Frederick
  • Training Information
If you have any questions about this week's update or would like to submit information for upcoming updates please contact Micki Trost, CDEM PIO, at micki.trost@state.co.us.