Despite recent snow, smoke may still be visible from the Decker Fire, as already burning fuels, mainly larger trees, continue to smolder, and a couple more heavy snowfalls may be needed before they are out, Sierra Hellstrom, Decker Fire public information officer, said Thursday.

Hellstrom said one of the terms for the smoldering trees is 1,000-hour fuel, an accurate description of how long some sources can continue to burn.

Crews will continue to monitor the sites with those still-burning trees, but because of the ruggedness of the area, they are only able to access 62 percent of the fire area, 100 percent of which is contained. The remaining 38 percent is being monitored but is not officially contained.

Only 24 personnel remain on site, and many firefighters have relocated to California to assist with fires there.

Salida Fire Chief Doug Bess said the South Arkansas Fire Protection District has sent one Type 6 engine and three crew members to the Santa Rosa, California, area.

Bess said they also have a tactical tender available if necessary, but he doesn’t think it will be requested.

Chaffee County Fire Protection District has a Type 6 engine and crew of three on standby but hasn’t sent anyone to California yet, Chief Robert Bertram said.

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