Mark McCracken

Wednesday, 28 October 2020 07:03

Virtual Annual Meeting

CALLING ALL RIST CANYON COMMUNITY MEMBERS!

Please join your neighbors at the virtual 2020 RCVFD Annual Meeting on Saturday, November 7th, at 6:00 pm. This will be a time to reconnect with one another, show support for our firefighters and community, and hear brief reports from the RCVFD President, Fire Chief, and Treasurer. The 2021 RCVFD Board of Directors will also be elected.

The Zoom connection information, required to participate in the 2020 RCVFD Annual Meeting, has been mailed by postcard to all addresses in our mailing list. Prior to the meeting, this Zoom Connection information will be sent out again, this time via a Community Alert message. Prior to the meeting, please review the 2019 Annual Meeting Minutes on the RCVFD web site.

“Rist Canyon” is more than a location; it is a kind and caring community where your participation is genuinely encouraged and greatly valued!

SO PLEASE JOIN US: Saturday, November 7th, at 6:00 pm.

If you have any questions, please contact me directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thank you.

Kind regards,
Jeff Yarberry, President
Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department
Saturday, 24 October 2020 15:40

Lost backpack on 44H

My backpack full of winter clothes fell out of RCVFD engine 613 on our way down the Buckhorn from winterizing cabins today 10/24. If anyone finds it, please contact me at danbob88@gmail or 970-672-4342.

It's a yellow and black Overboard brand drybag (rafting type) backpack, and besides my warm clothes my Kestral pocket fire weather station is in it.

Thanks!

DAN FINK

Friday, 09 October 2020 08:23

Cameron Peak evac update

The Cameron Peak Fire was active overnight, moving south of Comanche Reservoir and Hourglass Reservoir. This triggered mandatory evacuations for all residents in the Pingree Park, Monument Gulch, and Buckhorn Canyon (CR-44H) areas all the way down to CR-27 (Stove Prairie Rd).

For more information, see NOCO Alert
Friday, 25 September 2020 06:53

Nov 7th Annual Meeting

The RCVFD Board requests and welcomes comments/suggestions from the community regarding the Annual Meeting scheduled for 6 pm Saturday, Nov. 7. The Annual Meeting -- which is required by the RCVFD bylaws -- has traditionally been held at Stove Prairie School. Due to COVID-19, however, that facility would not allow for social distancing as directed by CDC guidelines. The question is: should the Annual Meeting be held virtually (via Zoom) or should the Board find suitable accommodations (for example, the American Legion building, in Laporte) to allow for an in-person meeting with masks and social distancing. At your earliest opportunity, please email your preference to RCVFD Board President Jeff Yarberry at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thank you.

Jeff Yarberry, Board President
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tuesday, 22 September 2020 18:06

Zoom Meeting Details

Below are the details for tonight's Zoom Community Meeting.

Topic: Mitigation - part 2
Time: Sep 22, 2020 07:30 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84565485748

877 853 5257 US Toll-free
888 475 4499 US Toll-free
Meeting ID: 845 6548 5748
Sunday, 20 September 2020 14:46

Community Zoom Meeting

Topic: Mitigation - part 2
Time: Sep 22, 2020 07:30 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join us for our next RCVFD community meeting. We have spoken to some of you and heard your success stories around Thinking Like An Ember. We hope that some of you can share what you found and what you did.

Also we will be getting a little more in-depth on reasons behind what we are recommending. We hope to share "the rest of the story..."

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84565485748

Phone numbers
888 475 4499 US Toll-free
877 853 5257 US Toll-free

Meeting ID: 845 6548 5748

Thursday, 10 September 2020 21:30

Cameron Peak Update

On Sep 9, 2020, RCVFD responders met with LCSO Captain Shellhammer. Cpt Shellhammer is Larimer County's liaison with the Cameron Peak Fire. Additionally, he is in charge of the Cameron Peak law branch which includes public safety, evacuations, security and law enforcement. We would like to share the significant points he made while meeting with us.

Over Sunday and Monday, the Cameron Peak Fire tripled in size. The explosive growth over these two days was caused by a perfect combination of Red Flag conditions along with strong westerly winds. These winds blew the fire through heavy beetle-kill and timber causing exponential growth and spotting. Previous fire models had given this behavior and chances of the fire moving into our area a “2% probability”. At the same time, Poudre Canyon saw extensive fire activity on the south side of the canyon with severe spotting threatening structures. Fire managers tried to act but trigger point after trigger point was being clicked off on many fronts. Mid-day on Monday the fire entered our response area in the Upper Buckhorn. Honestly had the wind not shifted early due to the oncoming cold front fire would have continued farther down the Buckhorn. We got lucky.

Fire behavior on Monday was so extreme and the resulting smoke was so intense that all air resources were grounded. Our spotter planes were completely ineffective, leaving the fire managers blind to the location of the fire. Cpt Shellhammer used Larimer County Emergency Services (LCES) personnel to fan out to lookout locations around the fire. These ground observers reported actionable intelligence but because the fire was moving so fast they had to continually find other safe places to spot from. As a result, Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith made the decision to do a full mandatory evacuation of the entire RCVFD response area.

So what was RCVFD’s role over the last few days?
Sunday through Monday morning. Larimer County Sheriff resources were fully committed to evacuations in other areas of extreme fire movement. A mandatory evacuation also means that emergency personnel try to knock on every door in the evacuation zone to be sure everyone gets the message. Imagine doing this throughout Crystal Lakes, Redfeather Lakes, Poudre Canyon, Stove Prairie, Monument Gulch, Crystal Mountain, Buckhorn Canyon, Paradise Park, Stratton Park, Davis Ranch, and Whale Rock all at the same time. Because of the vast territories that needed to be covered and our knowledge of our area, RCVFD was asked to assist. We sent all available personnel out to the communities in our area to get the word out to residents. Our responders logged over 100 hrs related to evacuations and visited over 300 homes.

Monday afternoon the sheriff’s resources were augmented with 50 officers from Boulder county. RCVFD was released from the evacuation team and we were able to assemble a number of strike teams (2-3 engines with ~6 people each) to provide structure protection in our response area. The fire could have entered our canyon from a number of locations. Fire was heading east and south from Poudre Canyon as well as climbing up from the Pingree Park area. Our Upper Buckhorn team found spot fires in advance of the flame front around mile marker 33-34 just below the winter gate near Pennock Pass. Several structures were threatened. We were able to extinguish the more problematic areas and protect the homes under threat. When enough had been done and the structures were secure for the night, we left the area at approximately 19:00.

Monday night through Tuesday, 5-14” of snow fell on the Cameron Peak Fire, stopping the fire’s growth temporarily. Many hotspots continued to throw up steam and smoke, but spread was next to impossible with all the snow. Cameron Peak Fire officials began attempting to do damage assessments in the harder-hit areas like Monument Gulch and Poudre City, but freezing temperatures and muddy road conditions prevented engines and firefighters from safely accessing the areas. According to LCSO, damage assessments are ongoing as of this Community Alert.

The Future
The weather also provided the opportunity to plan a major offensive strategy against the fire. Over 800 firefighters are currently assigned to the Cameron Peak Fire with more on the way, and we have been told that the Upper Buckhorn and Crystal Mountain areas are a primary focus. Expect to see large numbers of crews, engines, and aircraft entering the area over the next few days as the weather allows. RCVFD resources continue to help: focusing on structure protection, clearing roads, and doing initial attack on any new starts caused by thrown embers. The sheriff has made the decision to keep the Buckhorn evacuations in place so that this army of firefighters can proceed unhindered and quickly. Additionally as the weather warms and the snow melts, fire activity is likely to pick up. Although crews are taking advantage of the offensive opportunity, we all remain on high alert.

Not knowing what is going on can be extremely frustrating, and all we can offer is commiseration. We are looking at the same public sources of information that are available to you, and we often struggle to answer your questions with any authority. In rare cases like last night, Cpt Shellhammer was able to sit down with us and give us some insider information. We always try to make sure information gets to you quickly but please also consider we are out in the field trying to improve conditions and protecting homes ... as well as holding down our day jobs.

If you are left with more questions, it is best to direct them to the Rocky Mountain Black Team. There are a lot of ways to get the answers you need. All of the sources below are linked from our website, but here is a quick run-down:

  • NOCO Alerts has the latest evacuation information including a map showing the mandatory and voluntary zones. This is also where you can sign up to be notified when evacuation status changes for your area. In most cases the phone calls and text messages from this service will be your first notification – use it!
  • The Cameron Peak Fire Information page contains a wealth of information including current perimeter maps, daily updates on the suppression efforts, and a Contact Us tab where they give email addresses and phone numbers that you can use to contact the Rocky Mountain Black Team directly with questions and concerns.
  • If you prefer Facebook, the Cameron Peak Fire Facebook page has a lot of activity including daily briefings and informative video. Contact information is on this page for questions and concerns, and you can send them a direct message in Facebook as well.
  • The Larimer County Cameron Peak Fire page has information on how to get emergency alerts on your phone, shelter assistance for you and your large and small animals, and evacuation information including when and where to get credentials so you can easily access your property once residents are allowed back into the evacuation zones.

Sincerely,


Jeff Elsner, Chief
Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Monday, 07 September 2020 05:27

Cameron Peak Fire Evacuation Update

Yesterday the Cameron Peak Fire took a major run at our area and touched Pingree Park Road between Old Flowers Road (NF-152) and Buckhorn Rd (CR-44H), growing to 51,405 acres. Larimer County Sheriff has implemented mandatory evacuations for the following areas:
  • All of Buckhorn Road between Pennock Pass and Stove Prairie Road, including all communities along the Buckhorn Rd corridor
  • Residents on the west side of Stove Prairie Road between the Buckhorn turnoff and Stove Prairie School at Rist Canyon Road, including Paradise Park.

Additionally voluntary evacuations were implemented for:
  • Residents on the east side of Stove Prairie Road between the Buckhorn turnoff and Stove Prairie School at Rist Canyon Road
  • Residents on both sides of Stove Prairie Road north of Stove Prairie School, ending at CO-14
  • Residents on both sides of Rist Canyon Road between Stove Prairie Road and Stratton Park, including CR-41 and the community of Stratton Park.

Despite the expected rain and snow tonight, today will be another warm, dry, and windy day. More fire growth is likely today and in the warm weather to come after the cold snap. As always, refer to NOCO Alert for the latest information on evacuations.

For general information about the Cameron Peak Fire, see Inciweb or the Cameron Peak Fire Information site. As of this writing, Inciweb seems to have the most up-to-date fire perimeter map.

Friday, 04 September 2020 11:39

Community Zoom Meeting

Topic: RCVFD Community Meeting
Time: Sunday, Sep 6, 2020 04:00 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join us for our 4th RCVFD community meeting. We have spoken to some of you and heard your success stories around Thinking Like An Ember. We hope that some of you can share what you found and what you did.

Also we will be getting a little more in-depth on reasons behind what we are recommending. We hope to share "the rest of the story..."

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84265964923

Phone numbers
888 475 4499 US Toll-free
877 853 5257 US Toll-free
Meeting ID: 842 6596 4923
Saturday, 29 August 2020 10:40

Reminder: Community Zoom Meeting

This is a reminder for the RCVFD Community Zoom Meeting tonight August 29, at 7:00 PM.

Residents from Crystal Mountain and Upper Buckhorn are strongly urged to attend this meeting.

We understand folks with satellite internet might be having audio issues with Zoom. Also, a number of residents don't have internet access, so please use our toll-free phone numbers. For people on the phone:
  • Star-6 (*6) - mute/un-mute yourself
  • Star-9 (*9) - raise/lower your hand

The agenda has changed because additional resources from the Cameron Peak Fire have become available to speak and answer your questions:
  • Jerran Flinders, Division V Supervisor
  • Cpt Joe Shellhammer, Law Division Supervisor
  • Cassandra Cairns, Public Information Officer

We also hope to record this meeting and we'll post a link on our Facebook page.

Topic: RCVFD Community Meeting
Time: Aug 29, 2020 07:00 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)
(yes, Aug 29!)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88552575333

Meeting ID: 885 5257 5333

Phone Numbers
888 475 4499 US Toll-free
877 853 5257 US Toll-free
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