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Decker Fire crews prepare for snow, remaining evacuated residents return

In the latest Decker Fire update, we learn that the remaining Chaffee County evacuees are returning to their homes and fire crews are preparing for forecasted snow and single digit temperatures.

With snow predicted to arrive Thursday afternoon, the Decker Fire Logistics teams are busy constructing yurts, acquiring generators, heaters, lights and antifreeze to keep equipment running. Firefighters will have warm and dry places to sleep, according to a report from the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team.

“We are incredibly grateful for the assistance of some local businesses and individuals in helping us
acquire warm clothing to distribute to personnel,” they said in the release.

Another Red Flag Warning is in effect Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. as winds increase and conditions remain dry. An isolated thunderstorm is possible in the afternoon, which may threaten fire conditions with microburst winds and dry lightning. Precipitation expected Thursday may begin as rain and later switch to snow.

Tuesday, crews saw some active fire behavior on the west and east sides of the blaze. The fire grew a small amount, about 200 acres, but did not make significant progress eastward, the release said. Residents of Howard experienced smokey conditions and may have seen flames during periods of wind-driven group tree torching on the east.

Officials say Wednesday’s fire fight will resemble Tuesday’s; residents in Howard are advised they may see more smoke.

As of Wednesday morning, 879 personnel are fighting the blaze which has grown to 6,667 acres and is 14 percent contained.

KRDO Only 2019