Decker Fire near Salida swells to 3,700 acres; firefighting conditions remain poor

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SALIDA, Colo. — The Decker Fire burning near Salida grew more than 1,500 acres overnight, officials said Wednesday. The fire has now burned at least 3,746 acres. It is 5% contained.

According to mapping of the fire, the northernmost portions of the burn area are approximately 3.5 miles south of Salida.

Ground and air crews are fighting the fire. A Type 1 Incident Management Team is set to take over command of the fire starting Thursday evening.

Officials said very low humidity and strong winds have contributed to increased fire behavior. Poor firefighting conditions are expected to remain through the next few days.

A total of 241 personnel are assigned to the fire. Resources fighting the fire Wednesday include two large air tankers.

According to the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office, the following subdivisions are included in the mandatory evacuation zone:

  • Methodist Mountain Estates
  • Boot Hill
  • Pinon Ridge Estates
  • Fawn Ridge subdivision
  • Mountain Vista Village

The American Red Cross of Colorado said Wednesday afternoon that the evacuation center had moved from the Chaffee County Fairgrounds to the First United Methodist Church of Salida: 228 E. Fourth St., Salida, 81201.

The center will be open Wednesday evening but will be on standby overnight.

“Most people who have been evacuated have found overnight accommodations through local community partners,” the Red Cross said in a press release.

The evacuation center will reopen 8 a.m. Thursday and remain open during the day to provide meals, water and information.

Small pets can be taken to the Ark-Valley Human Society: 701 Gregg Dr., Buena Vista, 81211.

Large animals can be taken to the Chaffee County Fairgrounds: 10165 County Road 120, Salida, 81201.

The fire was started by lightning on Sept. 8.

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