Decker Fire grows to over 8,000 acres

Rapid spread of the fire Sunday forced fire crews to escape to a safety zone

map of the Decker Fire
3-D map of the Decker Fire at 7:02 p.m. MDT Oct. 13, 2019. The red shaded areas represent intense heat. Looking southwest. Click to enlarge.

UPDATED at 10:25 p.m. MDT Oct. 14, 2019

The Decker Fire has ordered nine more 20-person hand crews. They will be Type 2 IA (Initial Attack) crews coming all the way from Oregon.

The weather near Salida is not expected to be extreme through Thursday; the winds will be from the west or southwest at less than 11 to 14 mph but the humidity will be very low — single digits during the day and in the 30s at night. But beginning Friday and through the weekend the wind will increase to the mid-teens with gusts in the 30s. There is a chance of rain or snow on Sunday.

Those crews might be handy to have around on Friday and Saturday, and also to get more line construction and mopup done before the winds arrive.

4:02 p.m. MDT Oct. 14, 2019

The Decker Fire three miles south of Salida, Colorado continues to grow and Sunday put firefighters in a precarious situation. After the fire crossed fire lines on both the east and west sides following three days of Red Flag Warnings firefighters on the northeast side working to stop the spread had to use escape routes to take refuge in safety zones. After taking accountability to ensure all were safe, they reengaged after the fire activity decreased.

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

More fire crews and aircraft have been requested and new evacuation orders for residents issued.

The 8,118-acre lightning-caused fire has been burning for about five weeks and is being “managed” or herded around, rather than fully suppressed.

For evacuation  information contact the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office, 719-539-2596, or Fremont County Emergency Management, 719-276-7416, 719-276-7418, or visit the Chaffee County Sheriff or Fremont County Sheriff Facebook pages and websites.

Resources assigned to the fire include: 18 hand crews, 27 fire engines, 4 dozers, 8 water tenders, and 7 helicopters for a total of 707 personnel.

Map Decker Fire
Map of the Decker Fire at 7:02 p.m. MDT Oct. 13, 2019. The red shaded areas represent intense heat.

The video below that shows the smoke column blowing rapidly off to the left is time-lapse, not real time.

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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.