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Strong Winds, Red Flag Conditions Continue

Decker Fire Wildfire
News – 9/30/2019

Decker Fire Update

September 30, 2019, 10:00 a.m.

Rio Grande National Forest

Pike-San Isabel National Forest

BLM - Front Range Fire and Aviation Management Unit

Justin Yankey, Incident Commander

Strong Winds, Red Flag Conditions Continue

PUBLIC MEETING: 6:30pm TOMORROW, Tuesday, Oct. 1. The Scout Hut, 2110 E. Sackett Ave., Salida, CO 81201

Smoke: With winds from the south yesterday, smoke drifted to areas north of the fire including Salida and Bear Creek. We expect these wind conditions to last for at least the next few days. An Air Resource Advisor (smoke expert) is working on the fire, and we are monitoring smoke conditions at three locations - Salida, Bear Creek, and Howard. Go to this PDF for a wildfire smoke fact sheet with recommendations:

Current Situation: Fire behavior remained moderate yesterday; the fire consumed mostly unburned fuel within the interior, as is reflected by only 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 creating 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 handline they are creating along the ridgeline. The line is nearly complete, and will soon be connected to the 101 Rd. The K-MAX helicopter successfully helped slow fire spread on the northeast side and was able to fly until approximately 11am when high winds were no longer conducive to 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 the 101 road, crews relocated camp to Vandaveer Property.

Today will be another Red Flag Warning day. The K-MAX and a second smaller “A-Star” helicopter will do bucket work this morning to cool fire on the northeast. Most of the day will be problematic for aircraft due to weather/wind. The hotshots assigned to the northeast will work to complete the handline that connects Rainbow Trail and the 101 Rd. This handline will help to slow the progression of the fire. Crews on other areas of the fire will keep scouting for control opportunities using natural boundaries and features and continue to prep the west flank.

The fire remains primarily in Wilderness; where appropriate, actions will maintain wilderness integrity and allow fire to naturally promote forest health and resiliency and reduce hazardous fuel loads. As the fire approaches management action points, more aggressive tactics may be utilized to keep the fire’s edge in check. Fire managers are working closely with county cooperators to ensure that residents are kept informed and safe.

Weather & Fuel Conditions: Dry conditions expected; humidities of 11 to 16%. Temperatures 55-65F. Winds from the SW slightly higher today than yesterday, 15-30mph, with gusts up to 55mph in the afternoon. In isolated areas, gusts could reach 60-65mph between 3pm and 6pm. Critical fire weather and high winds are expected to persist through the week.

Closures: Portions of the 101 and 101A roads on National Forest lands and the Rainbow Trail (1336 tail) south of 108 road to the Stout Lakes Trail (1403 trail) have been closed. Chaffee County Road 101/CR 49 (Bear Creek Road) in Fremont County is closed (open to local traffic only).A temporary flight restriction (TFR) has been issued over the fire area to allow for aerial operations. Remember: if you fly, we can’t. There are no evacuations at this time.

Smoke: Real-time smoke information is available at Today’s smoke forecast for Salida and Arkansas River Valley is available at Fire and smoke may be visible from both the US 50 and US 285 corridors. Motorists are asked to reduce speed if visibility is impacted, and to not stop in the roadway to observe the fire; please be clear of road if you stop. Please do not call 911 to report fire behavior on the Decker Fire or to request fire information. A fire information line is available for fire updates. Please call 911 for emergencies only.

Decker Fire Statistics:

Size: 1591 acres, with 5% containment

Total Personnel: 194

Cause: Lightning

Start Date: September 8, 2019

Location: 9 miles south of Salida, CO

Contact Information:



Twitter: #DeckerFire2019

Fire Info Line: (719) 626-1095 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.)


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