Tag Archives: Saguache Today. SaguacheToday.com

Oh, Tannebaum! Permits Available!

Christmas tree permits will be available for purchase at Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests office locations beginning November 18. The cost per permit is $8.00 and may be purchased with cash, check or credit card at National Forest office and vendor locations. There is a maximum of five tree permits per person. Permits will be available and valid from November 18, 2019 through Dec. 31, 2019

Oh Tannebuam! Tis the season for Chrsitmas Tree harvesting in Saguache Today.

Christmas tree cutting is allowed in most areas on the GMUG with the following exceptions: Wilderness, scenic pullouts, commercial timber sales areas, recreation and ski areas, campgrounds, trailheads, developed sites and administrative areas and otherwise as detailed in the package provided with your permit. Trees may not be cut within 100 feet of any road or trail. Trees must be less than 20 feet tall from the stump, may not be greater than 6 inches in diameter at the base of the tree and the stump height should be no greater than 6 inches high. Topping trees is not allowed (i.e. cutting only the top of the tree and leaving the bottom with limbs attached). Trees are for personal use only and cannot be resold. The tags must be attached to the tree at the cutting location and must be left on the tree until it arrives at its final destination. Maps showing where Christmas tree cutting is allowed are available at all offices where permits are sold and will be provided with permits along with a regulations list.

The GMUG is pleased to continue the 4th Grade Free Christmas Tree Program again this holiday season. Fourth graders are eligible for a free Christmas tree permit through the Every Kid Outdoors Initiative. Every Kid is a nationwide call to action to build the next generation of conservationists. All fourth graders are eligible to receive a fourth-grade pass that allows free access to federal lands and waters across the country for a full year. In support of this initiative, the Forest Service will make available a free Christmas tree permit to every interested fourth grader who presents a 4th Grade Pass or paper voucher at any GMUG National Forests office location.

Fourth-graders get a FREE Christmas tree as part of Every Kid Outdoors program

Instructions on how to obtain a pass and collect a free tree permit:

In order for students to receive a free Christmas tree permit, they must present a valid 4th Grade Pass or paper voucher printed from the Every Kid Outdoors website. To earn the voucher, simply visit the website, click on the “Get Your Pass” button and follow the instructions to obtain the voucher. Print out the paper voucher and bring it with you to a District Office on the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests.

The Forest Travel Management Plans and or weather conditions may close various forest roads prior to or on November 30. As a reminder, Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs) have been produced for the entire Forest and show forest roads, trails and areas that have been designated for seasonal closures. Motorized users are responsible for obtaining an MVUM to determine where one can drive, ride and recreate. These maps are free and are available at District Offices or on the Forest website. Snow and winter conditions will dictate road access for Christmas tree harvesting. Conditions associated with winter travel on forest roads may include, but are not limited to: heavy snow, ice, soft shoulders and constantly changing road conditions. 

Permit Sale Locations:

  • The Fort Uncompahgre, 8 AM to 5 PM Monday through Saturday, 440 N Palmer Drive; Delta, CO. 970-874-8349.
  • Supervisor’s Office, 8 AM to 4 PM, excluding weekends and holidays 2250 South Main Street; Delta, CO. 970-874-6600.
  • Grand Valley Ranger District, 8 AM to 5 PM, excluding weekends and holidays, 2777 Crossroads Blvd, Suite 1; Grand Junction, CO. 970-242-8211
  • Ouray Ranger District, 8 AM to 4:30 PM, excluding weekends and holidays. 2505 S. Townsend; Montrose, CO. 970-240-5300.
  • Gunnison Ranger District, 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM, excluding weekends and holidays, 216 N. Colorado; Gunnison, CO. 970-641-0471.
  • Norwood Ranger District, 8 AM to 5 PM, excluding weekends and holidays. 1150 Forest; Norwood, CO. 970-327-4261
  • Paonia Ranger District, 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM, excluding weekends and holidays. 403 N. Rio Grande Ave.; Paonia, CO. 970-527-4131.
Christmas Tree permits are available through the Forest Service.

VENDORS:

  • Valley Ranch – Monday thru Friday 6 AM to 6 PM; Saturday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday 8 a.m.to 2 p.m. 57454 Highway 330; Collbran, CO. Christmas Eve 6 AM to 4 PM; Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. 970-487-3000.
  • Murdoch’s Ranch & Home Supply – Monday thru Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday 9 AM to 6 PM; 3217-I-70 Business Loop; Clifton, CO; Christmas Eve 7:30 AM to 4 PM; Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. 970-523-7515.
  • Desperado General Store – Monday-Friday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturday 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. 40486 D Lane, Crawford, CO. 970-921-5655.
  • Paonia Flower Shop – Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 301 Grand Ave; Paonia, CO. 970-527-4664.
  • Gambles Ace Hardware – Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m. -4 p.m. 121 Bridge Street Hotchkiss, CO. 970-872-3535.

Decker Fire Active With Strong Winds

While San Luis Valley residents awoke to a welcome dense fog, bringing some much-needed moisture into the area, crews continue to battle recent high winds associated with the Decker Fire. Residents are reminded of tonight’s Public Meeting, October 1 at 6:30 p.m. at The Scout Hut, 210 E. Sackett Ave., Salida, CO 81201. For those unable to attend, the Decker Fire Facebook Page has been great about video updates.

The Decker Wildfire encountered fierce winds on September 30 as crews fight to contain the blaze which began September 21.
The Decker Wildfire encountered fierce winds on September 30 as crews fight to contain the blaze which began September 21. Photo: USFS

As of Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 11:30 a.m. here’s the word from the official incident commander.

Current Situation: High winds contributed to increased activity on the Decker Fire yesterday. Heavy smoke developed over the fire and could be seen for many miles. In Division S on the northeast, the fire remained calm. Morning bucket work by helicopters helped to slow the spread to the northeast. In Division A on the west, around 3pm, fire activity increased significantly in a previously inactive area. Driven by strong winds from the south, the fire burned northward from the Green Rocks area toward Simmons Peak. This area had dense sections of unburnt fuel, and flame lengths were 80 to 100 feet high at times. A large smoke column developed over the fire, and the fire grew approximately 600 acres. The smoke column appeared so large and dense due to the heavy concentration of dead and down fuel that has built up in the forest over the years. Some “spot fires” were detected in Division R on the San Isabel side near the upper Rock and Bear Creek drainages. The majority of growth was on the western side of the fire within the wilderness boundary. A night shift was established on the fire last night; two engines and a Task Force Leader monitored behavior overnight and will continue to do so as long as they are needed.

Today, October 1 is another Red Flag Warning day, with low humidity (11-16%) and gusty winds. Fire growth is probable today, with movement likely toward the north. Heavy smoke and plumes are possible. Helicopters will fly this morning to cool spots from yesterday’s growth. Multiple lookouts will be posted to observe for any developments. Crews and dozers on the north will scout for additional opportunities for fireline outside of the wilderness. Structure protection crews will be present in Silver Heels and Bear Creek. As the fire reaches wilderness boundary and safer terrain, firefighters have a much stronger probability of success and can engage in more aggressive suppression efforts. Fire managers have ordered additional resources for this purpose.

A dense, moist fog greeted San Luis Valley residents on the first day of October.

The majority of the fire is burning in inaccessible wilderness full of dead and down fuel where it is unsafe for firefighters to go, and where helicopter water drops can only slow and cool the fire. Portions of the wilderness may burn until fuels have been consumed or after a season-ending event such as significant and sustained snowfall. Limiting spread onto private and BLM land and ensuring firefighter and public safety remain top priorities.

Weather & Fuel Conditions: Relative humidity recovery was poor last night, and today should be another sunny, dry day with humidities from 11-16%. Temperatures 53-62F. Winds from the SW/S, 15 to 35, with gusts as high as 55. Winds from the SW may align with drainages between 12pm and 3pm and will then shift to come from the south around 3pm. Smoke plumes are most likely between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Critical fire weather and high winds are expected to persist through the week.

Smoke: Significant smoke may remain in areas surrounding the fire. Some individuals may be more sensitive than others. You should take actions to protect yourself if you are having symptoms. Further suggestions can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/ReduceYourSmokeExposure. Real-time smoke information is available at https://tinyurl.com/DeckerFireSmoke. Today’s smoke forecast for Salida and Arkansas River Valley is available at https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/CentralColorado.

Closures: Portions of the 101 and 101A roads on National Forest lands and the Rainbow Trail (1336 tail) south of 108 road to the Stout Lakes Trail (1403 trail) have been closed. Chaffee County Road 101/CR 49 (Bear Creek Road) in Fremont County is closed (open to local traffic only). A temporary flight restriction (TFR) has been issued over the fire area to allow for aerial operations. Remember: if you fly, we can’t. There are no evacuations at this time. 

Please do not call 911 to report fire behavior on the Decker Fire or to request fire information. A fire information line is available for fire updates. Please call 911 for emergencies only.

Decker Fire Statistics:
Size: 2207 acres, with 5% containment
Total Personnel:  220
Cause:  Lightning
Start Date: September 8, 2019
Location:  9 miles south of Salida, CO

Decker Fire Information Office

Fire Info Line:  (719) 626-1095

InciWeb:  https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6592/

Facebook:  facebook.com/DeckerFire2019

Twitter:  #DeckerFire2019