US 50 & US 285 DECKER FIRE UPDATE ― CDOT and emergency officials ask for public’s help:  DO NOT PARK ALONG THE HIGHWAYS

October 4, 2019 - Southwestern Colorado - Speed reductions implemented for sections of US 50 and US 285

Colorado Department of Transportation and emergency management officials are urging the public not to park along the highways near the Decker Fire burning near Salida. Motorists should be aware there is no stopping, parking, or standing outside of vehicles along highway shoulders. 

“We understand the public is very curious about the fire,” said CDOT Maintenance Supervisor, Tyler Carlson. “But when we have vehicles stopped on the side of the road and people getting out of their cars, it is creating a hazard for other passing vehicles. The highways must be kept clear with no obstructions for fire and emergency personnel and equipment moving about in the area.”     

The speed limit has also been reduced on two stretches of U.S. Highways 50 and 285. The speed reductions have also been implemented to provide increased safety along these highways. All motorists, including the traveling public, commercial drivers and emergency personnel are urged to obey the reduced speed limits. 

U.S. 50

Just east of Salida, motorists must observe the speed limit of 40 MPH on a seven-mile stretch from the U.S. 50 and CO Highway 291 junction (MP 223) to approximately the community of Wellsville (MP 230).

U.S. 285

Just south of Poncha Springs, drivers will encounter a speed reduction on 50 MPH on a four-mile stretch on the south side of Poncha Pass (MP 115-119).

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Travelers are urged to “know before you go.” Gather information about weather forecasts and anticipated travel impacts and current road conditions prior to hitting the road. CDOT resources include:



The Decker Fire was caused by a lighting strike on Sun., Sept. 8. The fire is burning about 10 miles south of Salida in the Rio Grande National Forest and Sangre de Cristo Wilderness. The blaze has burned more than 5,800 acres and is currently considered 5% contained. More than 450 firefighters are battling the blaze on the ground and with aircraft.