SALIDA, Colo. — Sheriff’s deputies and fire personnel were going door-to-door telling residents to evacuate their homes early Wednesday as the Decker Fire near Salida continued to grow in size.
The fire, which began on Sept. 8, was about 3,700 acres in size — an increase of more than 1,500 acres since Tuesday — and 5% contained as of Wednesday morning.
Officials said high winds have helped the fire spread to the north and on Wednesday, evacuation orders were issued for the Mountain Vista Trailer Park, Methodist Mountain Estates, the western edge of Fawn Ridge Estates and the Boot Hill, Pinon Ridge Estates and other subdivisions near Methodist Mountain from County Road 110 to County Road 104.
The American Red Cross has set up an evacuation center at the Chaffee County Fairgrounds, 10165 County Rd. 120 in Salida, but moved the location to the First United Methodist Church of Salida, located at 228 E. 4th St. The move was made in order to make room for the Type 1 Firefighting Team that will take over command for the Decker Fire.
Officials said large animals can be accommodated at the fairgrounds but pets should be taken to the Ark-Valley Humane Society, 701 Gregg Dr. in Buena Vista.
Winds in the area remain gusty Wednesday and fire danger remains high in the area. Due to windy conditions and a large amount of smoke coming from the fire, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued an air quality advisory for southeastern Chaffee County and northwestern Fremont County.
Nearly 250 fire personnel are fighting the Decker Fire, including five helicopters dropping water on the flames.
County roads 104, 107 and 110 above CR 111 are closed to traffic heading up Methodist Mountain, deputies said.