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Decker Fire update: Pre-evacuation notices issued, 730 personnel working

Saturday brings potential for another day of high fire activity at the Decker Fire burning two miles south of Salida, which has now grown to 5,291 acres.

A pre-evacuation notice was issued Friday afternoon for the communities of Pine Ridge, Wellsville, and Swissvale as winds have the potential to carry the fire eastward Saturday, according to an update from the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team.

According to the release, there are now 730 people working on the Decker Fire including nine aircraft with more crews and engines on the way. The aircraft will be used today as much as possible, although wind speeds may ground them throughout the day.

A Red Flag Warning is in effect Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. as conditions are expected to remain dry with strong winds throughout the day. Gusts of 55 to 55 miles per hour are possible across the fire area between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Incident meteorologists say that smoke from the fire could produce Moderate to Unhealthy air quality conditions in the afternoon. Consult here to learn what this may mean for you and your family.

Although the fire was less active Friday, the combination of dry fuels, low humidities, and high winds creates significant potential for spotting. Once established, wind-driven spot fires could spread quickly.

The fire initially ignited nine miles south of Salida but has since spread to within two miles south of the city.

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