Heavy smoke Monday was caused by the Decker Fire moving into the Swindinski Drainage at the southwest corner of the fire, public information officer Bethany Urban said.
Swindinski Creek is on the south side of Methodist Mountain on the San Luis Valley side of the fire.
Urban said the fire climbed a little uphill into the drainage, pushing into new fuel sources. The drainage leads back into the main body of the fire, she said, so it is not burning in a new area.
Fire management officials will provide information about the Decker Fire at a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. today at the Salida Rotary Scout Hut, 210 E. Sackett Ave.
Behavior of the fire, burning about 9 miles south of Salida, remained moderate Sunday, growing 90 acres to a total of 1,591 acres, according to a press release.
Monday was a Red Flag Warning day, with high winds sending smoke into Salida in the afternoon. Until the winds became too strong, two helicopters did bucket work Monday morning to cool the fire.
Strong winds are expected to continue for the next couple of days, and a smoke expert is monitoring smoke conditions.
An update on the fire Monday contained a wildfire smoke fact sheet with tips on how to reduce smoke exposure.
Tips for reducing smoke exposure include:
• Stay inside with doors and windows closed.
• Seek shelter elsewhere if it’s too warm to keep windows closed and you don’t have air conditioning.
• Don’t add to indoor air pollution by burning candles, using a fireplace, smoking or vacuuming.
• Create a “clean room” in your house, using a portable air cleaner.
• Have a supply of N95 respirators handy. They’re sold at many home improvement stores. Don’t rely on dust masks or bandanas.
• Avoid strenuous outdoor activities during smoky times.
• Run your car conditioner in recirculate mode to reduce smoke in your vehicle.
• Keep enough food and medication at home to last until the smoke clears.
• Have a plan to evacuate if health warnings are issued.
The fact sheet can be found at epa.gov/sites/production/files/2018-11/documents/reduce-your-smoke-exposure.pdf.
The fire remains primarily in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness.
No evacuations are in effect at this time.
Closures include portions of the 101 and 101A roads on national forest lands and the Rainbow Trail south of 108 road to the Stout Lakes Trail. Chaffee CR 101/CR 49 (Bear Creek Road) in Fremont County is closed (open to local traffic only).
A temporary flight restriction has been issued over the fire area to allow for aerial operations.
For up-to-date fire information, call 719-626-1095 or visit inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6592/.
To sign up for Everbridge, the Chaffee County sheriff’s emergency notification system, visit chaffeesheriff.org/communication/everbridge/.