Decker Fire Update [Oct. 2]

Decker FireThe Decker Fire cresting Methodist Mountain.

The Decker Fire, burning south of Salida, has been mapped at 3,746 acres, and is 5% contained.

The Decker Fire showed significant growth overnight. Mandatory evacuations are now in place.

Heavy airtankers should be dropping retardant within the hour just west of County Road 101 and near the Columbine Trailhead (northeast side of the fire).

Evacuations

There is a Mandatory Evacuation Order from the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office for: Methodist Mountain Estates, Boot Hill, Pinon Ridge Estate, Fawn Ridge Estates, and Mountain Vista Village. These are the areas South of County Road (CR) 111 between CR 104 and the west edge of Fawn Ridge Estates. Those evacuating need to check in at the Chaffee County Fairgrounds; they do not have to stay but do need to check in for accountability and information. Large animals can be evacuated to the fairgrounds. For the most up to date evacuation information, please go to Chaffee County Sherriff’s Office Facebook page or call Chaffee County Sherriff at 719-539-2596. If you have not evacuated, PLEASE DO SO NOW.

Current Situation

The Decker Fire grew over 1,500 acres last night, and as of 1:30am was 3,746 acres. Humidity recovery was very poor, and winds gusted from 25 to 40 mph over the fire the entire night with no reprieve. These conditions contributed to increased fire behavior and spotting. The wind driven fire grew over the northeast aspects of Methodist Mountain and has crossed the Rainbow Trail near CR 108. This movement triggered mandatory evacuations at approximately 2am, and fire managers coordinated with local cooperators including Chaffee County Sherriff Spezze, Salida Fire Chief Bess and Chaffee County Emergency Manager Atkins.

Today in Division R, multiple dozers, engines, aircraft, and crews will be aggressively working to check fire spread to the north and east. There are five helicopters dropping water on the fire this morning. They will focus on cooling and checking the fire’s edge just south of the Boot Hill neighborhood. Dozers are creating fireline south of the Boot Hill neighborhood from CR 108 heading west and from CR 108 east to the WAPA powerline. From there, dozer line will continue east along the powerline toward the BLM-5672 road. Crews will conduct burnout operations from CR 108 west toward CR 106 in order to place “black” between the fire front and residences. Two large airtankers have been ordered, and they plan to drop retardant northeast of the fire from the powerlines southeast to the Columbine Trailhead, working to protect CR 101 and the Bear Creek neighborhood.

Crews in this area will continue prepping and improving fireline along CR 101 to Columbine TH. In Division A on the west, crews will conduct small burnout operations and scout for more opportunities for additional fire line. The fire had some movement west and north in this Division last night, but it has not impacted the indirect containment lines. Fire managers and crews are implementing plans that present the greatest probability of success; portions of the fire are now in terrain where we can safely engage in suppression efforts. Firefighter and public safety remain the highest priority.

Road Closures

There are multiple road closures around the Decker Fire area. For San Isabel Forest closures, please go to: https://tinyurl.com/DeckerFireForestClosure

The fire crested over Methodist Mountain late last night causing the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office to order evacuations.

There is a Red Flag Fire Warning and an Air Quality Health Advisory has been issued.

Heart of the Rockies Radio will continue to update information as it becomes available.

Terry West
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