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Decker Fire: Some evacuations lifted in Chaffee County and Fremont County

Posted: 1:40 PM, Sep 15, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-15 19:17:53-04
Decker Fire

SALIDA — Despite crews facing a Red Flag Warning Monday, the Decker Fire did not get any bigger. Fire managers said Tuesday morning that the Decker Fire has remained at 8,118 acres and crews have containment at 30%.

Fire officials released an interactive map Monday that will be updated once a day. Residents near the fire can type in their address and see where they are located in relation to the fire area.

Mid-day Tuesday, the Chaffee County Sheriff's Office announced the lifting of evacuation orders for people living on Silver Heels Road and homes to the west. Everyone in Chaffee County on CR 101 and Bear Creek remain under evacuation orders.

In Fremont County on the east side of the fire line, people living in Wellsville and Swissvale are being allowed back into their homes this afternoon.

Official information from emergency management:

Re-Entry credentialing will take place at the Howard Volunteer Department at 8274 Highway 50.

Re-Entry will be a controlled process that will include RAPID TAG credentialing. A Rapid Tag will only be issued with one of the following forms of ID showing residency. Drivers license with current address, utility bill, rental/lease agreement, voter registration, property tax receipt, a piece of first class mail with name and address, or a document that proves ownership.

Representatives from SolVista Behavioral Health, FCSO, Red Cross, CSU Extension, Fremont County OEM, and Fremont County Public Health will be present with information.

All evacuees will be issued an “Orange” Rapid Tag.

All residents of Wellsville and Swissvale will remain on Pre-Evac status.

CR 49 residents will be credentialed but not allowed in as that area is still on Mandatory Evacuation Status.

Residents in these areas that live and work in Salida can go to the United Methodist Church in Salida, at 228 E. 4th Street from 3pm-8pm to get credentialing. Red Cross will have information packets at the Steam Plant community meeting tonight.

FRECOM dispatch will send out a reverse notification to the Swissvale and Wellsville evacuation areas to advise of the Re-Entry event.


Decker Fire map 10/15
Yellow areas are under pre-evacuation notice, while those in the red area are under evacuation.


Previous story

Increased activity with the Decker Fire Sunday prompted new evacuation orders. According to the Fremont County Sheriff's Office, as of about 1:15 p.m. Sunday, the communities of Wellsville and Swissvale are now on evacuation status.

The Sheriff's Office said that just after noon, the fire jumped the Rainbow Trail near Bear Creek in Division T. The fire is burning northeast in the Bear Creek area and firefighters have been pulled from the line. An air tanker has been requested to drop retardant.

The Chaffee County Sheriff's Office said that they have evacuated Silverheels Drive, Bear Creek, and two residences just west of Silverheels drive. All other residents from County Road 108 eastbound to just west of Silverheels Drive are still on pre-evacuation notice, however you should be ready to evacuate at a moments notice should the need arise.

An evacuation center has been set up at the United Methodist Church in Salida, at the request of Fremont County. All evacuees are requested to go to the United Methodist Church in Salida to check in for accountability and they will have more information for you at that time.

Hunters in the area of the fire are advised to carefully check Forest and BLM closures before scouting or hunting.

A structure was said to have been damaged on Oct. 3 and News5 confirmed the structure lost was in Fremont County. On Oct. 5, the Chaffee County Sheriff's Office reported that one structure has been lost in Chaffee County. It was not in the evacuation area, but it was close to the boot on private land that is surrounded by public land.

According to fire managers, smoke conditions are being monitored in several locations near the fire. Click here for tips to follow on wildfire smoke.

According to the Facebook page set up for the fire, the increased activity has prompted crews to begin proactive mitigation around homes on the southern-most portion of County Road 110 to include Pine Ridge Trail and homes on roads off County Road 106.

This will come at no cost to residents. Crews will stop by homes to get permission, but if you are not home, crews will not mitigate without permission.

You can give written permission to mitigate in your absence by emailing with your name, address, phone number and the statement, "I give permission for Decker Fire crews to mitigate my property in my absence."

Decker Fire map updated 10/11

There are multiple road and trail closures in Chaffee, Fremont and Saguache County around the Decker Fire area. You can find San Isabel Forest closures here. You can find Rio Grande Forest closures here.

For BLM closures, go to the BLM Colorado Fire Facebook page or here.

A temporary flight restriction (TFR) has been issued over the fire area to allow for aerial operations. Remember: if you fly, fire crews can’t.

There are 720 personnel currently fighting the fire. Resources include seven Type-1 hand crews, 10 Type-2 hand crews, 29 engines, four dozers, 10 water tenders, and multiple aircraft.

The agency asks community members to not call 911 to report the Decker Fire behavior or to request fire information.

The fire started Sept. 8, nine miles south of Salida because of lightning. Fire officials said the fire's estimated containment date is Friday, Dec. 20.

For evacuation information, contact the Chaffee County or Fremont County Sheriff's Offices or the offices' Facebook pages. You can check for updates on the fire on the fire's Facebook page.


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