Behind-the-scenes: Decker Fire Helipad Operations

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SALIDA, Colo. — Crews continue to fight the Decker Fire which is currently burning at 8,727 acres and 75% containment as of Tuesday.

Aircraft from all over the nation have been helping with airdrops to stop the fire from spreading.

“I enjoy the job because you can get some immediate satisfaction of whether you’re doing well. By looking down at the fire, and with this much water, we can drop the water and you can see the flames disappear and steam start coming up – so that’s quite satisfying to let you know you’ve made a good drop, it’s working out for ya – it’s quite a bit of fun actually,” said Chinook Captain Timothy Woodruff.

Decker Fire Operations have over 600 personnel from firefighters, pilots, meteorologists, mechanics, caterers, accounting staff, cleaners, and more.

“The camps are fully self-sufficient, they sleep here, they have meals here, they take pack lunches out with them during the day, and work 15-16 hour shifts,” said Cindy Howard, Public Information Officer.

Firefighters will continue to fight the flames until the fire is fully contained which is estimated to be by December 20th, 2019.

UPDATE as of 10 a.m. Tuesday: The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office lifted Pre-evacuation status for the areas of Wellsville, Swissvale and Zones 2 and 3 of Howard.  Pre-evacuations will remain in place for Zone 1 in Howard and the Bear Creek area. 

For daily updates on the Decker Fire, follow here.

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