The Decker fire continued to burn south of Salida Saturday afternoon, releasing heavy smoke and worrying some viewers that the blaze might be headed their way. In a community meeting Saturday night, fire crews reassured residents that the fire is under control, despite the prevalence of smoke.
The fire — caused by lightning — is 0% contained and has grown to 355 acres as of 2 p.m. Saturday, according to a press release Sunday morning from the U.S. Forest Service. Currently, 47 firefighting personnel are involved, including air support.
In some areas, crews are just letting it burn because it’s too dangerous to try and put firefighters on the ground.
The Decker fire was expelling heavy smoke into the sky Saturday, worrying the residents of Howard, a town about 14 miles southeast of Salida.
Crews explained that the smoke will be heavy, but that is to be expected and that the fire is under control.
“The smoke tonight is going to impact people really hard, and it’s probably going to go all the way to Canon City and maybe even into Pueblo,” said a fire crew spokesman at a community meeting Saturday night in Poncha Springs.
“As we have days like this the bluebird skies, the sun can beat on the fuels and raise the fuel temperature,” said another fire official. “You will continue to see smoke on these days like that.”
In the latest press release Sunday, officials said that the fire, which remains on national forest lands, was spurred on Saturday by low humidity, warmer temperatures, and consistent winds.
Officials say that the fire will be visible at night from both the US 50 and US 285 corridors. Motorists are asked not to stop in the roadway to observe the fire.
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