Decker Fire near Salida continues to grow; precipitation on the way

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SALIDA, Colo. -- The Decker Fire grew to more than 6,600 acres on Wednesday as more evacuation orders were lifted in Chaffee County, the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team said.

The fire, which was started by lightning Sept. 8, has burned 6,667 acres and is 14% contained. It is burning 2 miles south of Salida in the  Sangre de Cristo Wilderness.

A cabin on Methodist Mountain in Chaffee County has been lost as well as a structure in Fremont County.

Nearly 900 firefighters are battling the fire, which is burning in moderately stocked mixed conifer with timer litter, and moderate dead and down trees.

The estimated date for full containment is Dec. 20.

On Saturday, 300 people and 130 houses were forced to evacuate from several subdivisions, but some of those orders were lifted on Sunday afternoon.

Other evacuation orders were lifted on Wednesday morning for residents only.

Bear Creek residents in Fremont County remain evacuated, and Bureau of Land Management and forest closures are still in place.

The Red Cross said its evacuation center for the fire closed on Wednesday afternoon.

A red flag warning is in effect for Wednesday afternoon as winds will increase and conditions will remain dry, officials said.

Cooler weather and chances for precipitation are expected Thursday, as well as snow and single-digit temperatures by the end of the week.

Plans are in place for firefighters and crew members to have warm, dry places to sleep, officials said.

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