Decker Fire Update October 7th, 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.
Interactive map for the Decker Fire: https://arcg.is/1zPGWH
October 7, 2019 (10 a.m.)
Special notes: Yesterday, re-entry took place for some formerly evacuated residents north of the fire in Division R. There is still a lot of fire traffic, fire equipment, and personnel in this area, and work is still taking place. Residents and anyone driving on roads north of the fire are asked to please remain extra aware, extra cautious, and drive slowly to help keep our firefighters safe. Thankyou!
Residents could see increased smoke over the fire today. Pockets of unburned fuel are still burning within the fire perimeter, and the spots on the west and east are giving off some smoke. Today’s unstable conditions lend themselves to smoke plume development.
Weather: Today should be sunny with low RHs of 7-12%, winds out of the west but largely terrain-driven, gusts up to 20 mph. A very dry airmass has settled over the fire area and is becoming increasingly unstable as it continues to dry and warm. Light, terrain-driven winds and above normal temperatures (57 to 62F), combined with the unstable airmass, will make for higher chances of large smoke plumes this afternoon between 12pm and 8pm. Such plumes can carry embers and have the potential for long-range spotting. Looking ahead, cold air should arrive to the fire area overnight Wednesday, with overnight lows in the 20s expected for a few days.
Current Situation: Yesterday in Division R, crews improved the direct handline along the north perimeter of the fire. Bulldozers constructed fireline from north of the Rainbow Trail, south along the ridgeline, to the Chaffee County line at the Division R/A break. In Division T, firefighters built a new section of handline from the tip of the “arm” south, to wrap around some of the houses in Bear Creek. From there, they began working on fireline from the end of Bear Creek and running southeast to join up with the Rainbow Trail. Firefighters in Division T also worked on improving their section of the Rainbow Trail. Crews in Division W used bulldozers to create line that runs east/west between the Wilderness boundary and the community of Howard. In Division X, crews kept scouting for options to improve existing roads and trails. Firefighters in Division A improved the dozer line running south from the Division A/R break. Aircraft were able to fly and do water drops for the entire day yesterday.
Today is an unstable weather day, and firefighters will be on constant lookout for sudden changes in fire behavior. In Division R to the north, firefighters will keep improving indirect and direct fireline, and they will work on clearing debris from CR 108. Bulldozers have spent two days working the line from the Rainbow Trail south to the division break. Today, helicopters will fly a crew of firefighters and equipment onto the ridgeline. This crew will use hand tools to improve the dozer line; working back north toward the Rainbow Trail. In Division T, firefighters will improve a section of the Rainbow Trial and keep working the direct line along the “arm” of the fire, looking for and cooling hotspots. In Divisions W, bulldozers will be building dozer line east/west between the Rainbow Trail and Howard. Crews in this division will keep scouting for locations to construct indirect fireline between the fire and the community of Howard. Crews in Division X will continue dozer work on BLM roads. In Division A, firefighters will work on the dozer line running south from the Division A/R break. The structure protection crews will remain present in Howard.
Fire managers will evaluate opportunities for aerial ignitions. There are several factors and conditions that must align for this operation to create a good probability of success; fire managers will be assessing these throughout the day.
Firefighters on the night operational period remain with the Decker Fire overnight. They are monitoring for changes from the east and west of the fire.
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: 6,326 acres Percent Contained: 5
Total Personnel: 882 Cause: Lightning
Resources Include: 10 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 2 fixed-wing aircraft