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Decker Fire

Unit Information

Rio Grande National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
1803 W. Highway 160
Monte Vista, CO 81144

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Incident Contact

Decker Fire Public Information Office
Phone: (719) 626-1095
Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily

Highlighted Activity

10/14/2019 Public Meeting in Howard Tonight at 6pm (10-14-19)
A reminder: there is a public meeting TONIGHT at 6PM in HOWARD at the Howard Volunteer Fire Department, 8724 US-50 in Howard. Also, we have added a public meeting TOMORROW (Tuesday) night in SALIDA..
Announcement - 10/14/2019

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginSunday September 08th, 2019 approx. 12:16 PM
Location2 miles south of Salida, CO, in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness
Incident CommanderMark Giacoletto, Jay Esperance (T)
Coordinates38.409 latitude, -106.004 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel720
Size8,118 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained30%
Estimated Containment DateFriday December 20th, 2019 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Closed timber litter

Timber (litter and understory)

Light logging slash

Moderately stocked mixed conifer with timber litter and light to moderate dead and down trees. Mixed conifer has standing dead mixed with live conifer, and dead and down. Pinion stands are over-mature and have significant dead component.

Significant Events


Wind driven runs



Poor RH recoveries and low RH allowed fuels to become more receptive to fire ignitions and spread. Fire spread is driven by strong winds and spotting is occurring with wind and slope alignment. These conditions are expected to continue until weather pattern change occurs.


Planned Actions

Firefighters will work to contain a slop on the eastern flank of the fire and crews will continue to patrol and mop-up heat along the fires perimeter. Hand ignitions may be used to strengthen containment lines when environmental and weather conditions are conducive to firing operations.

Other operations will include chipping, mastication and suppression repair in areas where the fire threat and behavior have diminished.

Projected Incident Activity

12 hours: Wind change will increase fire behavior as a brush by system impacts fire area. No real moisture is associated with this event. Winds will shift to out of the northwest and will promote fire spread to the southeast.

24 hours: Continued drying and warming associated with low RH recovery will allow fire to burn. Fuels will be receptive to ignitions.

48 hours: Drying and warming associated with low RH will allow the fire to burn actively. Fuels will be receptive to ignitions.

72 hours: Continued drying and warming associated with low RH recovery will allow fire to spread.


Acreage and Ownership: Block 7: 8118 total acres: 4489 PSICC, 3352 RGF, 48 BLM Royal Gorge, 14 BLM San Luis. Private:63 Chaffee CTY., 152 Fremont CTY. Saguache CTY. 0.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

A Red Flag Warning is in effect for the fire and surrounding area today from 1100 to 2000. The recoveries overnight were mixed. At the top of the fire, RH got to 30%, but only 18% near the base. The inversion was shallow, but much stronger than expected at around 45 degrees. This led to stronger than expected winds overnight. Winds were southwest to west-southwest with gusts to 35 on the slopes and gusts to 40 at the ridges. RH was slower to fall today, but is expected to reach critical levels by 15-1600hrs. The cold front is currently over southwest Wyoming and will likely get here around 1800. Winds from the front still do not look very strong, and wind speeds will slow to 15mph with gusts to 25mph. There is a potential for a Red Flag Warning Tuesday due to strong winds and low RH, but that will depend on the fire conditions today. Recoveries will better overnight but not great with a weak cold front coming in Monday night and winds will be stronger than today.