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Decker Fire grows 500 acres overnight, as dry, gusty conditions return Friday

Posted at 11:21 AM, Oct 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-04 13:21:38-04

SALIDA, Colo. – Lighter winds and more humidity helped slow fire activity on the Decker Fire near Salida on Thursday, but the dry, gusty conditions were expected to return on Friday, possibly preventing aircraft from helping contain the fire.

The fire grew about 500 acres overnight, reaching an estimated 5,824 acres as of 10 a.m. Friday, according to the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team. Most of the growth was on the western side and southeast side of the fire, which was burning across the Sangre De Cristo Wilderness Area. More than 130 homes have been evacuated in the area.

Crews were hoping to use aircraft to help fight the fire on Friday, but high wind speeds might prevent that, with sustained gusts of 35-40 mph.

More than 450 people are working the lightning-caused fire, which began on Sept. 8 about nine miles south of Salida. The fire has since moved to two miles south of Salida.

An estimated five percent of the 5,824 acres are contained

A dozen hand crews, 19 engines, three dozers, and five water tenders are being used to battle the fire on the ground. The aircraft includes Chinook and Blackhawk helicopters.