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Some evacuations lifted near Salida as Decker Fire continues to burn

Posted at 9:09 AM, Oct 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-07 23:19:11-04

SALIDA, Colo. (AP) — Many people evacuated because of a wildfire burning in central Colorado are back home.

The Chaffee County Sheriff's Office lifted evacuation orders on Sunday for several neighborhoods near the fire that has burned nearly 10 square miles (25 square kilometers) of national forest land.

The fire has destroyed a cabin and another structure as its northern edge reached 2 miles south of Salida. About 130 homes had previously been evacuated.

Unseasonably warm and dry conditions have fueled the fire, caused by lightning in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Area on Sept. 8. It had been allowed to burn beetle-killed trees until high winds spread flames northward.

The Decker Fire has burned 6,326 acres as of Monday evening. It remains 14% contained.

Officials also are monitoring a 1.5-square-mile wildfire on forest land 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of Rifle.