The number of personnel assigned to the Decker Fire dwindled to 70 Wednesday, down from more than 900 less than two weeks ago.
Firefighters are being demobilized when it is safe to do so, according to a press release, and those remaining are taking care of logistical concerns.
Conditions allowing, firefighters will work to complete suppression repair tasks in the coming days. At this time, all areas of the fire remain inaccessible due to snow, and wet and unseasonably cool weather is predicted to continue.
Fuel moisture is steadily increasing as the fire area receives precipitation, incident command officials said, but large and heavy fuels are dry enough to retain heat, even under the snowpack.
The area of the fire perimeter that firefighters can safely access, 62 percent of the fire, has been declared 100 percent contained. The remaining 38 percent will be contained by a season-ending event, which is considered underway after this week’s storms. Those areas will continue to be monitored, but the moisture from the snowpack will eventually put the fire out, fire officials said.
The fire has been burning since Sept. 8, when it started with a lightning strike in the Decker Creek drainage of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, roughly 5 miles southeast of Poncha Pass in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Area of the Rio Grande National Forest.
It subsequently spread into the San Isabel National Forest and has burned a total of 8,959 acres.