Decker Fire grows to more than 1,600 acres

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The haze people may be noticing over El Paso County Monday is from the Decker Fire.

Photo: Cassandra Mueller

9/16 evening flight over the Decker fire

This is the video from this evening’s helicopter flight. The video shows the flight coming from the backside of Methodist Mountain and Simmons Peak. Then turns southwest to the north edge of the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness and then looking across the north end of the San Luis Valley. You will be able to see the area that burned on Saturday and that the large natural barrier of the Sangres rocky slope stopped the fires movement.

Posted by Decker Fire on Monday, September 16, 2019

SAGUACHE COUNTY, Colo. — UPDATE (9/30): The Decker Fire is burning south of Salida and is about 1600 acres.

Crews are battling winds upwards of 55 miles per hour with low humidity. Much of southern Colorado is in a red flag warning.

The haze people may be noticing over El Paso County Monday is from the Decker Fire. The fire is just 5% contained.

Courtesy of Caleb Ryman. This is in Gleneagle facing mountains

Fire officials say the blaze began earlier in September from a lightning strike.

A public meeting for the Decker Fire will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 1 at the Scout Hut, 2110 E. Sackett Ave., Salida, CO 81201

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UPDATE (9/27): The fire size is now at 1334 acres due to Thursdays wind and intense sunlight– it increased the fire’s activity on the higher parts of Simmons Peak.

Two sections of the fire have grown together, but 118 firefighters total are working to prevent it from spreading. Different wet spots and rainbow trail are being used to corral the fire.

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UPDATE (9/23): The Decker Fire burning south of Salida has grown to 1,015 acres, according to officials.

In an update published Monday morning, officials said the fire grew Sunday due to clear skies, warm temperatures and low humidity.

The fire was started by lightning on Sept. 8. It is burning in the Rio Grande and Pike-San Isabel national forests roughly 9 miles south of Salida.

No evacuations or closures have been ordered.

Dead and down fuels are the main source of fire activity. The U.S. Forest Service estimates that within the fire area, about 80% of trees are dead from beetle-kill and blowdown.

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Hundreds of acres are burning in southern Colorado near Salida. Over the weekend the Decker Fire doubled in size.

So far no homes are currently in the fire’s path. No evacuations have been ordered.

The fire has burned almost 900 acres. The fire is also 0 percent contained.

Linda Hecker with Decker Fire said don’t let the numbers fool you. This fire is in Wilderness, which is congressionally protected lands so they aren’t trying to get it completely contained and are letting nature take its course.

“The forest needs to regenerate itself and the fire is part of that regeneration process,” Hecker explained.

They are monitoring the fire with helicopters and this is the video the chopper captured on its flight on Monday.

The main concern right now is the BLM Land which is near the fire perimeter. If it crosses that threshold they have to go into fire fighting mode because the BLM houses a protected species.

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