Decker Fire Update For Oct. 8 [Updated]

[Update] The Decker Fire is 6,482 acres. Fire crews have gained some containment on the north side; it is now 14% contained.

896 firefighting personnel are currently working the fire.

The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office has lifted the pre-evacuation order for Wellsville and Swissvale. The pre-evacuation order for Howard remains in effect.  

Crews continue to work on strengthening containment lines around the Decker Fire, including hand line and dozer lines to protect the eastern portion of the fire toward the Howard area. The structure protection crews will also remain present in Howard.

Several Methodist Mountain neighborhoods were allowed to go back to their homes on Sunday. Two subdivisions remain under evacuation totaling 73 homes and 180 people.      

Besides the 882 firefighters working the fire, the response also includes 28 engines, 3 dozers and 8 aircraft. 

Chaffee County Commissioners approved to extend the declaration of a state of disaster emergency yesterday. 

The declaration directs county staff to prioritize recovery efforts over non-disaster related work. 

The declaration states “all staff in all county departments are hereby directed to dedicate all available resources to disaster recovery.”

The American Red Cross Evacuation Center at the Rotary Scout Hut in Riverside Park will continue to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner until further notice. 

The National Weather Service has issued an Air Quality Health Advisory. 

Elevated fire weather conditions due to dry conditions, gusty winds and above seasonal temperatures continue.

The Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service have both issued Stage II Fire Restrictions for all BLM and Forest Service administered lands in Lake, Chaffee, Custer, and Fremont counties and Saguache County east of Highway 285.     

Chaffee County remains under Stage II Fire Restrictions as well.  Stage II Fire Restrictions prohibit ALL open fires, including charcoal fires. 

There are multiple road closures around the Decker Fire are in Chaffee, Fremont and Saguache Counties. 

The Bureau of Land Management Royal Gorge Office has closed all BLM lands south of Highway 50 in Chaffee and Fremont Counties.  The San Luis Valley Field Office has closed all BLM lands in Saguache County east of Highway 285 from Poncha Pass on the north to Rock Creek on the south.

The Colorado Department of Transportation has issued a speed reduction on Highway 50 east of Salida. 

The speed limit has been reduced to 40 mph for a seven mile stretch from Salida to Wellsville.  

The speed limit has also been reduced to 40 mph on Highway 285 south out of Poncha Springs over Poncha Pass. 

CDOT is also urging the public not to park along the highways to look at or take pictures of the Decker Fire.  The highways must be kept clear with no obstructions for fire and emergency personnel and equipment moving in the area.     

The Salida Post Office is holding all mail addressed to evacuees, you can pick up your mail at the post office.

The City of Salida is keeping the Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center open instead of following through with a planned closure, so that they may provide free showers to firefighters and evacuees. Call 539-6738 to learn how you can access the showers.  

The Chaffee County Community Foundation has launched a permanent Emergency Response Fund to allow individuals and businesses who want to contribute to emergency response in Chaffee County the mechanism to do so. 

If you would like to give to the Emergency Response Fund, go online to https://cccf.fcsuite.com/erp/donate/create?setc=1&funit_id=1165 to be taken directly to the CCCF’s Donor Portal. 

This fund will support the Decker Fire response and recovery, as appropriate and as needed, in coordination with Chaffee County government officials, nonprofits and Salida relief stakeholders. 

Beyond the current situation, it will also establish a permanent bucket of local monies dedicated to responding to future, local emergencies. 

The Chaffee County Community Foundation will not charge any administrative fees for this fund and donations are tax deductible. 

For more information, email joseph@chaffeecommunity.org

Dan R

Danny “Dan R” Ridenour has been in radio and television broadcasting for 42 years, starting as a senior in high school at KAMO in Rogers, Arkansas.

Dan attended Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas from 1978-82 (where he picked up the name Dan R after his fraternity brothers couldn’t pronounce his last name), majoring in Radio/Television. Dan lived in Jonesboro for 10 years working in radio and then was a TV weatherman for ABC affiliate KAIT Channel 8.

Television was a little boring when compared to radio, so Dan returned to hosting radio morning shows in Nashville, Memphis, Oklahoma, and then eventually, Colorado.

Dan enjoys being involved in the community, having been an member of the Upper Arkansas Service Club and is currently on the board of directors for the Salida Community Center and is a member of the Chaffee County Fair Committee.

Dan and his wife Carrie spend their days doing everything the mountains have to offer: hiking, camping, fishing and skiing. They raised 3 children together and have 2 grandchildren.
Dan R

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