CHAFFEE COUNTY — The Chaffee County Sheriff's Office issued mandatory evacuation orders for residents near the Decker Fire early Wednesday morning and has continued updating areas under evacuation through Thursday morning.
The following areas are under evacuation:
- Methodist Mountain Estates
- Boot Hill
- Pinon Ridge Estate
- Mountain Vista Village
- Fawn Ridge Estates between Fawn Ridge and County Road 110, south of County Road 111
- Bear Creek (Chaffee County Road 101 and Fremont County Road 49) to County Road 104 South of Highway 50
The Sheriff's Office said County Roads 104, 107 and 110 above County Road 111 are closed going up to Methodist Mountain.
The Red Cross opened a shelter at the Chaffee County Fairgrounds, but the shelter has now been moved to the First United Methodist Church of Salida at 228 E. 4th St. It will close overnight, but reopen at 8 a.m. Thursday.
Community members can receive food, water and information at the Red Cross evacuation center.
Officials said the move was needed to make room for the Type 1 Firefighting Team that is taking over the firefighting effort.
Red Cross officials said pets can be taken to the Ark-Valley Humane Society at 701 Gregg Drive in Buena Vista. CCSO officials said large animals can be evacuated to the Chaffee County Fairgrounds, located at 10165 County Road 120.
The Decker Fire has been burning since Sept. 8 in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness.
During a public meeting Tuesday, the incident management team said activity increased significantly in a previously inactive area Monday afternoon. An afternoon update provided Wednesday said activity increased Wednesday on the west side of the fire but is without significant movement.
Bulldozers are working to create lines parallel to the powerlines heading east toward the 101 and heavy aircraft have been dropping retardant in the area between the fire and the Bear Creek neighborhood.
The latest update on the fire has it at 3,746 acres with 5% containment, though Wednesday afternoon, the fire has likely grown to over 4,000 acres.
For any evacuation questions, please call the Sheriff's Office at (719) 539-2596.