With 882 personnel fighting the Decker Fire on Monday, crews are spread out into five divisions, each working to contain a portion of the wildfire.
Along the north perimeter of the fire in Division R, crews improved the direct hand line on Sunday. Bulldozers also constructed a fire line from north end of the Rainbow Trail, south along the ridge line to the Chaffee County line at the Division R/A break to the west.
On Monday in Division R, firefighters continued improving indirect and direct fire lines and cleared debris from CR 108. Bulldozers continued to the division break. Helicopters flew a crew of firefighters and equipment onto the ridge line. The crew used hand tools to improve the dozer line, working back north toward the Rainbow Trail.
In the northeast area of the fire in Division T, firefighters built a new section of hand line from the tip of the “arm” south, wrapping around some of the houses in Bear Creek. From there, they began working on a fire line from the end of Bear Creek and running southeast to join up with the Rainbow Trail.
Firefighters in Division T also worked on improving their section of the Rainbow Trail. They continued that work on Monday, building direct line along the arm and also looking for and cooling hot spots.
On the eastern flank of the fire above Howard in Division W, crews on Sunday bulldozed a line running east/west between the wilderness boundary and the community. Bulldozing continued Monday while crews in the division kept scouting locations to construct indirect fire lines between the fire and the community of Howard.
On the south side of the fire in Division X, crews kept scouting for options to improve existing roads and trails and continued dozer work on Bureau of Land Management roads.
Firefighters in Division A on the west side of the fire improved the dozer line running south from the Division A/R break.
Aircraft were able to fly and do water drops for the entire day on Sunday. Throughout the day on Monday, fire managers evaluated opportunities for aerial ignitions. Officials said there are several factors and conditions that must align for this operation to create a good probability of success.
Firefighters overnight monitored changes from the east and west.
The structure-protection crews will also remain present in Howard.
The total resources for the Decker Fire include 10 Type-1 hand crews, 15 Type-2 hand crews, 28 engines, three bulldozers, 10 water tenders and eight air resources.
The fire started with a lightning strike Sept. 8 near the Decker Creek drainage in the Rio Grande National Forest and now is burning about 2 miles south of Salida.