Current Situation: The Decker Fire was less active on Sunday. Increased cloud cover in the afternoon and calmer winds kept fire activity at a minimum. The fire continued to creep south between Merkt Creek and the Oxcart Fire scar.
The Colorado DFPC Multi-Mission Aircraft mapped the fire at 846 acres, which accounts for Saturday’s growth. Most of Saturday’s growth occurred on the west side of the fire in the Rio Grande National Forest.
The east side of the fire was less active on Sunday. Two small spot fires close to the main body of the fire became established on Saturday. These spots are high on the ridge within the wilderness and are expected to grow uphill towards the main body of the fire. There was very little fire spread on the east side of the ridge on Sunday.
The fire remains totally in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Area east of the ridge. Crews will continue monitoring the east side of the fire and allowing fire to play its natural role in Wilderness to promote forest health and resiliency. A Type 3 helicopter from Helena, Montana remains assigned to the incident and remains available, should the need arise.
On the west side of the fire, the Platte Canyon Wildland Fire Module is monitoring the fire’s progress on the northwest corner of the fire. The crew continues to check the fire’s spread onto non-forest lands on the west side of the ridge and tie the fire into natural barriers within the Wilderness. That crew remains spike camped on the northwest side of the fire.
The fire is expected to remain calm as long as clouds remain in the area and humidity remains high. The fire may be visible at night and will be visible from both the U.S. 50 and U.S. 285 corridors.
Motorists are asked to not stop in the roadway and be clear of the roadway before stopping to observe the fire. 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.
The US Forest Service estimates that areas within the Wilderness have up to 80% tree mortality from beetle-kill and blowdown. The Decker Fire is being managed to remove these high-risk fuels from the landscape for ecological benefit and to reduce the risk for catastrophic wildfire in the future.
Weather & Fuel Conditions: Temperatures are expected to reach the low 60s and minimum humidity will be from 40-45%. Winds are forecast to be 12-16 mph out of the southwest, with intermittent gusts of up to 30 mph. Thunderstorms are expected throughout the day today and gusty outflow winds are possible near those thunderstorms.
Evacuations and Closures: There are no evacuations or closures at this time. Smoke may settle into the US Highway 50 corridor in the late afternoons or evenings. Drivers are encouraged to reduce speed near the fire if smoke affects visibility.
Smoke: On Sunday, the Air Resource Advisor continued repairs on the air sensor in the Bear Creek area. Two additional sensors will arrive on Monday – one to replace the Bear Creek sensor and another for the town of Salida. Real-time smoke information is available at bit.ly/deckerfiresmoke. A smoke forecast has been issued for the Salida and Arkansas River Valley. That forecast can be found at https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/CentralColorado.