Decker Fire Update October 6th, 2019
Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team – Mark Giacoletto, Incident Commander
Information Center: (719) 626-1095
Hours of operation: 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
October 6, 2019 (10 a.m.)
Special notes: Please note there are new BLM closures. Please refer to the BLM website or Facebook for more info (see below).
There is now an interactive map available for the Decker Fire: https://arcg.is/1zPGWH. This map allows you to enter your address and see your location relative to the fire, provides a measuring tool to measure distance, and gives hunting area information as related to forest closures. We will refine this map and add additional information as time goes on. This is NOT a live map and the fire perimeter will be updated once a day. HUNTERS are advised to carefully check Forest and BLM closures before scouting or hunting; some units are in or near the fire.
Weather: Dry conditions due to poor overnight moisture recovery. Daytime humidities 16-23%, temps 45-55F. Winds from the NW, 15-25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph, although winds should calm as the day goes on. A ridge of high pressure will build into the fire area Monday, bringing with it an unstable environment as the dry pattern continues.
Current Situation: Crews made excellent progress throughout the fire yesterday. In Divisions R and T, firefighters improved direct line from the northwestern edge of the fire perimeter in Division R to the end of the “arm” in Division T. They successfully wrapped around the bottom of the arm, all the way to the Columbine Trail. In Division W, crews scouted for fireline options and staged bulldozers in the division to begin work today. Firefighters in Division X used bulldozers to start improving BLM roads 982 and 5350 and will be utilizing these as fireline to the south of the fire. Crews in Division A kept improving lines on the west and monitoring fire behavior. Aircraft were able to fly during some periods yesterday but were grounded for others due to wind.
Today, firefighters in Division R will improve dozer line south of Boot Hill. They will look for options to improve the Rainbow Trail between the fire’s edge and the dozer line that connects to CR 124 west of the fire. In Division T, crews will work to improve the Columbine Trail from Bear Creek west toward Rainbow, then follow and improve the Rainbow Trail heading south, allowing them to keep “boxing off” sections of the fire area with indirect fireline. Crews in Division T will also be scouting further east on BLM land, looking for options to improve small roads that travel south from Hwy 50. In Division W, firefighters will keep scouting for indirect fireline options between the fire and the community of Howard. Bulldozers are staged in this area, and they may be working today from the intersection of 4/4A, moving west toward the fire. Infrared maps are showing a spot fire in Division W, just to the northeast of the old Oxcart burn scar. Howard residents may see smoke from this area today; they should expect to see helicopters working to cool this spot. Firefighters in Division X on the south will improve trail and road systems on BLM land. Conditions depending, crews may conduct firing operations in the lighter fuels in this area, creating more buffer between burnt and unburnt fuel. In Division A, firefighters will improve dozer line up to the A/R break. Fire behavior on the west has been overall minimal; the fire is slowly backing downslope, consuming fuel in a beneficial way. There is a small spot fire just to the west of the Methodist repeater; fire managers expect this to burn east, straight back into already burned terrain. There may be helicopters in this area today cooling this spot.
Winds should grow calmer today, so it should be a good day for flying. Residents should be aware they may begin seeing more smoke over the fire tomorrow, October 7. If conditions allow, aerial ignitions may take place in Division T to remove fuel on the eastern side of the fire. When conditions are appropriate, these types of firing operations allow managers to utilize fire on their own terms, in the right time, and in the right place. Removing fuel from the fire front effectively slows the spread and places “black” between the fire and the values at risk.
Closures and Public Safety: There are multiple road closures around the Decker Fire area in Chaffee, Fremont and Saguache County. For your safety and firefighter safety, please respect posted closures. For San Isabel Forest closures: https://tinyurl.com/SanIsabelClosures. For Rio Grande Forest closures: https://tinyurl.com/RioGrandeClosures. For BLM closures: Facebook @BLMColoradFire and https://tinyurl.com/BLMCLosure. For evacuation information, please contact the Chaffee County Sherriff’s Office: 719-539-2596, or Fremont County Emergency Management: 719-276-7416, 719-276-7418 or go to the Chaffee County Sheriff or Fremont County Sheriff Facebook pages and websites.
Location: Fire started 9 miles south of, and is now burning 2 miles south of Salida, CO Start Date: September 8, 2019
Size: 6,155 acres Percent Contained: 5
Total Personnel: 806 Cause: Lightning
Resources Include: 8 Type-1 hand crews, 15 Type-2 hand crews, 28 engines, 3 dozers, 10 water tenders
Air Resources: 3 Type-1 (K-MAX, Blackhawk, Chinook), 1 Type-2, and 2 Type 3, and 3 fixed-wing aircraft