JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – New evacuation plans have been adopted in unincorporated Jefferson County after the Lower North Fork fire claimed three lives.

“Jefferson County Sheriff Ted Mink hosted a meeting with personnel from local fire protection districts to discuss ways to strengthen evacuation plans in the county,” Jacki Kelley with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Kelley said the group unanimously supported the immediate implementation of a more direct approach to communications between emergency responders in the field to communications specialists in the dispatch center to citizens affected by a potential evacuation.

Local fire protection districts support the new process.

The new plan has three tiers. They are as follows:

— Level 1 Evacuation means be ready. Residents should be aware of the danger that exists in their area. You should make preparation and be ready to leave, and then monitor local media outlets. Residents with special needs (such as the elderly or those with a susceptibility to breathing problems) are advised to evacuate. People with livestock or pets should consider moving them out of the area. Evacuations at this time are voluntary, but if you have concerns, evacuate now.

— Level 2 Evacuation means leave soon. There is significant potential of danger in your area, and residents should relocate to a shelter or with family/friends outside the affected area. You need to leave as soon as possible.

— Level 3 Evacuation means leave immediately. Danger in your area is current and imminent. There is no time to gather belongings. Leave immediately.

“The plan can be used as a graduated process, or any level can be used independently and in no specific order if the scope of the incident calls for such action,” Kelley said.


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