(Originally published at 6:38 p.m. MDT October 1, 2019)
Firefighters have been herding around the Decker Fire that has been burning since September 8 five miles south of Salida, Colorado. (see map) But 16 percent relative humidity and strong winds gusting out of the south at over 40 mph Tuesday afternoon caused the fire to spread toward the north and northeast. Late Tuesday afternoon a very large plume of smoke could be seen by a satellite moving northeast in the general direction of Denver 95 miles to the northeast.
(To see all articles on Wildfire Today about the Decker Fire, including the most recent, click here.)
In response to the extreme fire behavior and crown fires seen on Tuesday, a Type 1 Incident Management Team, the Rocky Mountain Team, has been ordered is scheduled to in-brief at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
A mapping flight Monday night determined that the fire had burned 2,206 acres. At that time most of the fire activity was on the north and northwest sides. Spot fires have occurred east of Methodist Mountain, with one just a quarter mile away from the communications towers on the peak.
Tuesday night the temperature at the elevation of the fire, about 10,000 feet, will drop to 37 degrees but the humidity will remain fairly low for nighttime at that elevation, around 38 percent. The southwest wind at 17 to 23 mph will continue pushing the fire to the northeast. On Wednesday forecasters expect 49 degrees, 11 percent RH, and winds out of the west at 22 gusting to 33 — conditions that could be conducive to additional fire growth.