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That's what she said

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Wildfire Update from the City Manager


By

Boulder tonight, from http://twitpic.com/2m1ghy/full

Boulder City Manager Jane Brautigam provided the City Council with an update on the status of fire fighting efforts in an email at 5:14 p.m. today (Sept. 7, 2010).  The text of that email follows:

Dear Council members,

At approximately 2:15PM today, I attended a briefing with incident command staff at the incident command post at the Boulder Regional Fire Training Center.  Mayor Osborne was in attendance with me.  As you know, the fire is a significant event for our county and community.  The following is the latest information I have through the briefing and will provide a public update at this evening’s council meeting:

  • Incident Command:  is currently with the County, assisted by a number of agencies including the city.  As of 6PM today, due to the significance of the incident, command will shift to the a Federal Type 2 team.  This transition is based upon the complexity of the incident and the capacity needed to contain and control it.  This transition will make a number of federal resources available to the county in its efforts.  Over the next few days, the Type 2 team will transition to a higher level Type 1 team.
  • Incident Command Post/ Boulder Reservoir:  As you know, the incident command post has been moved to the Boulder Regional Fire Training Center which is located east of the Boulder Reservoir.  Due to the anticipated influx of federal resources and firefighters, earlier today I ordered the closure of the Boulder Reservoir starting at 5PM today until further notice.  The city’s property will be used to shelter firefighters who are working the Four Mile Canyon wildfire.  Emergency crews will be allowed to utilize camping equipment for the duration of the closure.  The public will not be allowed to access the Reservoir during this time.  The understanding and cooperation of the residents is very much appreciated at this most difficult time.
  • Structures Lost:  Media outlets are reporting estimates of 60+ structures lost thus far.  At this point in time, we do not know the specific number of structures lost but do understand that it is significant.  The state damage assessment team is attempting to identify the number and addresses of those affected properties and inform the public sometime today, if possible.
  • Fire Fighting:  There are current 200 + firefighters working this fire among 60-70 engines.  The ground efforts are being assisted in the air by 8 tankers and 3 helicopters.  While the inversion weather conditions challenged the air efforts early today, the air efforts started at approximately noon.  More than 90,000 gallons of fire retardant was used today.  The current focus of the fire fighting operations is in keeping the fire from moving to the north/ northeast.
  • City Limits:  At the present time, the fire is not making an aggressive move towards the city limits.  In the long term, the shift of the fire to the east remains a concern and one for which the incident command and response teams are planning for as a worst case scenario.  The focus of fire fighting measures against it moving to the east remain in the Sunshine Canyon area.
  • Fire Area:  The fire remains very active and now encompasses 7,100 acres within the county.  The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning that indicates high winds, low humidity and high temperatures elevate the fire risk.
  • Cause and origin:  There is no confirmed cause or origin at this point.  The fire investigation is ongoing.
  • Duration of incident:  Based on the current complexities of the incident, it is anticipated it will last for several days.
  • Injuries:  No injuries to the public or firefighters have been reported and there have been no transports to the hospital.
  • Evacuations:  Communities east of the Peak-to-Peak Highway, south of Lefthand Canyon Drive, west of Olde Stage Road and north of Boulder Canyon Drive (Colo. Highway 119) will remain evacuated until further notice. Residents will be informed when any evacuations have been lifted.
  • Shelter:  The emergency shelter at the Coors Events Center located on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder is closed. A new overnight emergency shelter has opened at the Boulder YMCA located at 2850 Mapleton Ave. Food, water and insurance resources will be available courtesy of the American Red Cross.
  • Animals:  Boulder County will have animal control officers on scene conducting animal evacuations when site access becomes available. Animal evacuation information can be obtained by calling 720-564-2942.
  • Call Center:  An incident call center has been established to assist city and county residents affected by the wildfire. Residents are asked to contact the call center at 303-413-7730 instead of calling 911 unless there is an emergency to report.
  • Electricity/ Gas:  Xcel Energy estimates that approximately 2,000 customers are without electricity in the Fourmile Canyon fire area. As the fire grew on Monday, crews shut off service to sections of the distribution power grid to reduce danger.  Xcel is attempting to gain access to the fire zone in order to ensure gas service is shut off, to assess the damage to its facilities, and to begin restoration. Xcel Energy has crews surrounding the fire area ready to begin work as soon as conditions are safe.
  • Donations:  People who wish to make donations are asked to call 2-1-1. The public phone line is up and running for this purpose.
  • This is a significant incident for our community.  The city continues to work closely with officials at the county, state and federal level and is offering assistance.  We are very grateful for the efforts of those working on the ground and in the air to help contain this fire.

We will continue to keep the Council updated as warranted.

Regards,
Jane

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One Response to “Wildfire Update from the City Manager”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jeff Schwartz, Regina Cowles and Tuckertown, Eric Budd. Eric Budd said: RT @SchwartzNow Why it's important #BoulderFire shifting to a Federal Type 2 (then 1) incident command team – http://bit.ly/aXlDuD […]

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