Decker Fire grows to more than 5,800 acres

The fire is about three miles south of Salida, Colorado

Decker Fire
Decker Fire as seen from the north side of Salida, CO October 2, 2019. Photo by John Phillips.

(7:30 a.m. MDT October 4, 2019)

A mapping flight Thursday night found that the Decker Fire south of Salida,  Colorado had grown by 2,078 acres since the previous flight about 48 hours before, bringing the size up to 5,824 acres. Most  of the expansion occurred on the north side bringing it to 2.5 miles south of Highway 50. On the northeast side it spread almost a mile outside the boundary of the Rio Grande National Forest toward Wellsville.

Thanks to higher humidity and calmer winds the fire was not as active Thursday as in recent days (see map below). Instead of the 2 percent relative humidity seen on the fire Wednesday, the minimum reached Thursday was 20 percent.

3-D map Decker Fire
3-D map showing the perimeter of the Decker Fire (in red) at 7:23 p.m. MDT Oct. 3, 2019. The white line was the perimeter about 48 hours before. Looking southeast.

The weather forecast for the north side of the fire calls for 73 degrees  and 15 mph winds  out of the southwest or west on Friday and Saturday. The humidity will be in the teens Friday and single digits on Saturday.

(To see all articles on Wildfire Today about the Decker Fire, including the most recent, click here.)

map Decker Fire
Map showing the perimeter of the Decker Fire (in red) at 7:23 p.m. MDT Oct. 3, 2019. The white line was the perimeter about 48 hours before. The green line is the boundary of the Rio Grande National Forest.

Resources assigned to the fire Thursday evening included 8 hand crews, 10 engines, and 5 helicopters for a total of 458 personnel. Approximately $2.3 million has been spent on managing this less-than-full-suppression fire to date.


We will update this article as more information becomes available.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

7 thoughts on “Decker Fire grows to more than 5,800 acres”

  1. This is another use of “unplanned fire in the right place at the right time” resulting in severe private property damage. How much of the growth overnight resulted from burning out and how much of the burning out took place on private property?

  2. The Forest Service can be its own worst enemies at times when it comes to the public’s and politicians trust when a long term “managed fire” like Decker burns private lands, requires a Type 1 IMT during the Rocky Mountains shoulder fire season and the expenditure of Million dollars plus that rain and snow will ultimately extinguish. A lot of mixed messages by the Forest Service especially during the 2019 anemic western US fire season. It is not all due to climate change. Need to look hard at policy and poor fire / line officer management decisions regarding safe and efficient wildland fire benefiting Forest Service resource stewardship objectives on National Forest lands.

  3. The forest service could have avoided this mess and didn’t. Worse yet they are still saying they said by their decision to let it burn. No accountability there. Not happy with them right now.

    1. What started as a lightning strike that ws left for a controlled burn that as you know if you live here with the afternoon high winds got out of control this is the price we pay for living in these mountains you should expect a fire every 100 years we haven’t had one in 140 years it was overdue i live on the mountain and am still on the evacuation list i understand the situation and don’t hold anyone accountable for an act of god that got out of control i am amazed at the love and compassion of the people here to accommodate those people less fortunate to give them shelter and the restaurants the red cross and all those amazing firefighters here protecting our homes God Bless them all

  4. We are 2 miles out from being under mandatory evacuation. We have 2 elderly parents, 7 dogs, and four cats. Our neighbors to the east were unable to obtain fire insurance. If our home burns I am not sure if we can rebuild, and re-insure. Our parents retired here and thankfully can be re-imbursed. But, what is the point in rebuilding if the insurance companies won’t insure. There is a larger problem here and it is difficult to know who is at fault. I thank the people on the ground who are assisting. I offer my hopes and prayers to those less fortunate, and I condemn those that obstruct or impead the rights of others.

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