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Colorado fire burning since Sept. now 100% contained thanks to snowstorm

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Posted at 12:50 PM, Oct 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-24 15:04:08-04

SALIDA, Colo. — A fire that had been burning in Colorado for over a month is now completely contained thanks to snow that fell in the area overnight.

The Decker Fire near Salida was sparked by a lightning strike on Sept. 8. Since then, it scorched thousands of acres across multiple counties.

Fire managers said Thursday crews now have the Decker Fire 100% contained after more than 4 inches of snow fell overnight.

The fire is not out, but the snow helped keep the fire at 8,910 acres and fire activity "continues to taper off."

The Chaffee County Sheriff's Office canceled all Stage 2 Fire Restrictions, but this does not include lands within the United State Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management boundaries as of 8 a.m. Thursday. Pre-evacuation notices for residents in Chaffee County were also lifted.

The Fremont County Sheriff's Office lifted the pre-evacuation order for zones 2 and 3 of Howard, and the communities of Wellsville, Swissvale and Box Canyon Tuesday morning. Bear Creek and Zone 1 in Howard remain under the pre-evacuation notice.

Fire officials released an interactive map Oct. 14 that will be updated once a day.

Officials said that there will no longer be crews working overnight because of the snow reducing the threat of the fire spreading.

Crews will work to backhaul equipment and switch from suppression to suppression repair. They will also pick up structure protection equipment in areas where there is no threat anymore.

Crews will continue to keep an eye on a spot fire near the SE corner and another area of active fire near Simmons peak, though both have not had much movement the last few days.

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 KOAA 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 the county. It was not in the evacuation area, but it was close to the boot on private land that is surrounded by public land.

There are 539 personnel currently fighting the fire. Resources include 21 engines, one dozer, six water tenders, and multiple aircraft.

This story was originally published by staff at KOAA.