DENVER — Tuesday, March 27, 2012 — Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia signed an Executive Order today that authorizes the National Guard to provide firefighting assistance at the Lower North Fork Fire.
“We are concerned first and foremost with the safety of people and property in the fire zone. Our thoughts and prayers are also with those families who have already lost their homes,” Garcia said. “We continue to work with local and federal authorities to provide whatever resources necessary to get this fire under control.”
The Colorado Army National Guard today launched two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters to help battle the Lower North Fork Fire. Each helicopter is equipped with a 500-gallon bucket to drop water on the fire.
The Executive Order also activates the State Emergency Operations Plan.
“All State departments and agencies shall take whatever actions may be required and requested by the Director of the Division of Emergency Management or the Colorado State Forest Service, including provision of appropriate staff and equipment as necessary,” the Order says.
Garcia signed the Executive Order because Gov. John Hickenlooper is on a trade mission to Mexico. The governor is receiving regular updates about the fire.
Here is the full text of the Executive Order:
E X E C U T I V E O R D E R
Activating the National Guard for the Purpose of Firefighting Assistance
regarding the Lower North Fork Fire and Activating the State Emergency Operations Plan
Pursuant to the authority vested in the Governor of the State of Colorado and, in particular, pursuant to Colorado Constitution, article IV, sections 5 and 13 and C.R.S. § 28-3-104, Joseph A. Garcia, Lieutenant Governor of the State of Colorado, hereby issues this Executive Order activating the National Guard for the purposes of protecting life and property and public health and safety.
I. Declaration and Directives
A. On March 27, 2012, it was brought to the attention of the administration that a fire was threatening homes and property southwest of Denver in forested mountain terrain south of Aspen Park, Colorado. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office requested the firefighting assistance of the State. The National Guard possesses equipment and personnel to provide such assistance. Pursuant to C.R.S. § 28-3-104, I verbally authorized the activation of the National Guard to assist in fighting this fire. This Executive Order memorializes my verbal order.
B. The State Emergency Operations Plan is hereby activated pursuant to C.R.S. § 24-32-2502. All State departments and agencies shall take whatever actions may be required and requested by the Director of the Division of Emergency Management or the Colorado State Forest Service, including provision of appropriate staff and equipment as necessary.
This Executive Order shall expire thirty days from March 27, 2011 unless extended further by Executive Order.
III. Lieutenant Governor
I am executing this Executive Order pursuant to the Colorado Constitution, article IV, section 13(5) as Governor John W. Hickenlooper is currently traveling outside of the State of Colorado.
GIVEN under my hand and the
Executive Seal of the State of
Colorado this twenty-seventh day of
Joseph A. Garcia