Decker Fire

Flames blow to the north from the Decker Fire Tuesday night. Don Page of Salida took the photo from the top of Poncha Pass and submitted it by visiting The Mountain Mail at 125 E. Second St.

The Decker Fire, burning in the Rio Grande and San Isabel national forests about 9 miles south of Salida, has grown to about 245 acres, the Decker Fire Public Information Office reported Thursday afternoon.

Most of the fire’s growth came Tuesday afternoon and evening, according to a press release.

The fire’s activity was limited on Wednesday because of cloud cover, higher humidity, lower temperatures and less wind.

The fire crossed into the Upper Bear Creek drainage Tuesday and continued down the drainage Wednesday, covering about 50 acres on the San Isabel National Forest.

Twenty-fire personnel are now assigned to the fire, which is zero percent contained.

Led by Incident Commander John Markalunas, a Type 3 organization, which is a multi-agency/multi-jurisdictional team used for extended incidents, took control of the fire Thursday morning. Additional resources may be ordered as needed.

Crews worked Wednesday to secure the southwest corner of the fire on the Rio Grande National Forest and prevent its spread in that direction.

Firefighters also are working to protect areas of the Rainbow Trail and infrastructure in the area and are monitoring the fire to make sure it stays on national forest land.

An air resource advisor is now assigned to the fire and will monitor smoke in local communities.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has issued a smoke outlook. Smoke may settle into the U.S. 50 corridor near the Chaffee/Fremont County line in late afternoons and evenings.

While there are no evacuations or closures, heavy roadside activity may occur along U.S. 285 near Alder.

The fire was first reported Sunday afternoon and was caused by lightning.

For fire updates, the public may call 719-626-1095 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.

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