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Chaffee County Public Health announced the state’s Emerging Air Quality Issues Unit issued a smoke advisory for the Salida area due to the smoke from the Decker Fire.

With winds from the south yesterday, smoke drifted to areas north of the fire, including Salida and Bear Creek. Fire officials expect these wind conditions to last for at least the next few days.

An Air Resource Advisor (smoke expert) is working on the fire, monitoring smoke conditions at three locations – Salida, Bear Creek and Howard.

For more information on how to reduce the impact of smoke, go to this site for a wildfire smoke fact sheet, with recommendations:

Fire officials have also set a community information meeting for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 1 at the Scout Hut, located at 210 E. Sackett Ave., Salida.

Fire behavior remained moderate yesterday. The fire consumed mostly unburned fuel within the interior, as is reflected by around 90 acres of new growth. On the southwest side, fire from Friday’s aerial ignitions slowly backed down the hill, consuming more fuel in beneficial areas and created a fuel break along the ridge. This helps prevent uphill runs from the south.

Hotshots in Division R on the northeast made significant progress on the hand line they are creating along the ridgeline. The line is nearly complete, and will soon be connected to CR 101.

Fire crews reported that the K-MAX helicopter successfully helped slow the fire spread on the northeast side. They were able to fly until approximately 11 a.m. when high winds were no longer safe for flying. Structure protection crews have prepped and plumbed in Bear Creek and Silver Heels, and engines will remain present in these areas. Mitigation continues in Pine Ridge. To reduce the amount of traffic on CR 101, fire crews relocated their fire camp to Vandaveer Property.

The Decker Fire is divided into two Branches:

Branch I (on the northeast side by Salida) and Branch II (on the southwest side the San Luis Valley). Then subdivided into five divisions.

Branch I - Salida

  • Division T (northeast side by Wellsville)
  • Division R (north side by Salida)
  • Division W (southeast side by Howard)

Branch II - San Luis Valley

  • Division A (west side by Poncha Pass)
  • Division X (south side by Alder)