Volunteer fire crew faced time, terrain challenges to fight Lower North Fork Fire

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Firefighters at the Lower North Fork Fire

Firefighters at the Lower North Fork Fire

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — Fire Command radio tapes reveal time is one of the biggest obstacles faced by the firefighters battling the Lower North Fork Fire.

One dispatch says, “They’re gonna need to get here as soon as possible because it sounds like they’ve got structures that are going to be involved here, if not already.”

But  fire departments in the Intercanyon district are mostly made up of volunteers.

First, it took time for them to get to the fire station.  Then the tapes show they often had to wait for others to arrive before they could get the equipment and head out to the scene.

Once on the road, they faced rugged roads and terrain.

Homeowners we talked to say it can take up to an hour for fire and rescue crews to arrive at some of the remote mountain homes.

They say that can be scary, but point out living in other places has other risks.  They say it forces them to do more work themselves to mitigate fire danger.

But they also say the peace and quiet and beauty of the mountains is worth it.