Decker Fire near Salida grows to more than 6,100 acres; some evacuations lifted

SALIDA, Colo. — The Decker Fire near Salida grew to more than 6,100 acres and was still only 5% contained on Sunday morning, the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team said.

The fire, which was started by lightning Sept. 8, is burning 2 miles south of Salida in the  Sangre de Cristo Wilderness. It grew about 200 acres from Saturday despite dry and windy conditions.

On Saturday, 300 people and 130 houses were evacuated from several subdivions.

But at 3 p.m. Sunday, Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze lifted some of the mandatory evacuations.

All residents of the Fawn Ridge subdivision as well as residents on Chaffee County Roads 110, 111 and 111a were allowed to return home.

Residents of Mountain Vista Estates (Paradise Acres) and homes accessed above mountain Vista Estates accessed from Chaffee County Road 104 will also be allowed to return.

Residents living east of Chaffee County Road 104 accessed from private drives south of Highway 50 with the exception of those living on Chaffee County Road 101 and Bear Creek will also have the evacuation order lifted.

Residents living on Chaffee County Road 101 will continue to be evacuated.

Those allowed back into their homes will be kept under pre-evauation status, the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office said.

Officials said the fire continued burning downhill on the west side of the blaze.

A cabin on Methodist Mountain in Chaffee County has been lost as well as a structure in Fremont County.

An evacuation center has been moved to the Rotary Scout Hut in Riverside Park in Salida.

More than 800 firefighters are battling the fire, which is burning in moderately stocked mixed conifer with timer litter, and moderate dead and down trees. It has burned 6,155 acres.

The flank of the fire with the most possibility for growth is sheltered from high winds on Sunday associated with a red flag warning, but the potential for large fire growth continues to exist.

Officials said fire crews made progress on Saturday, improving a direct line from the northwestern edge, successfully wrapping around the bottom of the arm to the Columbine Trail.

Humidity remains low, but winds are expected to be calmer Sunday, allowing more aircraft to help fight the fire.

A ridge of high pressure will build into the fire area Monday, bringing an unstable environment as dry conditions persist, officials said.

The National Interagency Fire Center created an interactive map outlining the fire that allows residents to input their address to see their location respective to the fire.

The map also has hunting area information related to forest closures.

There continues to be several road closures in Chaffee, Fremont and Saguache counties, as well as the San Isabel and Rio Grande national forests and on Bureau of Land Management lands.

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