Cow Creek Fire

 Wednesday 10/23/2019   10:00 am



Fire start date:  10/16/2019


Fire size today: 853 acres


Containment: 0%


Location: 9 miles east of Ridgway,  CO, within the Uncompahgre Wilderness in mixed conifer with a heavy dead and down fuel load


Personnel: 263


Cause: Under Investigation



Rocky Mountain Type 2 Blue Team


Air Operations:

1-Type 2 helicopter

1-Type 3 helicopters


Evacuation Information:

No evacuations


Air Quality


Air Quality and Smoke Advisory:

Fire Information-

Phone 970-765-8490




The Rocky Mountain Incident Management Blue Team held a public meeting on Tuesday evening at Ridgway Elementary School to update the community on the work that has accomplished since Sunday. It was attended by 75 community members. The fire continues to burn over a large geographic area within the Uncompahgre Wilderness with limited access.

Today, firefighters will complete the removal of hazardous trees on the west side of the fire near Cow Creek road. Maintenance continues near Owl Creek Pass road to allow fire crews access to the area, which has been limited due to recent snowfall. Blue team continues developing a long-term course of action for suppressing the fire that includes detailed plans for the establishment of more control lines on the north side of the fire in the event of increased fire activity.

Yesterday, fire behavior near Courthouse Mountain was unresponsive to clear skies and increased sun exposure, with smoldering and creeping continuing in the drainages near Cow Creek. Fire behavior will follow the weather patterns with increased activity when clear and warm, lessened activity when cold and cloudy.


Moderate weather conditions will continue through today, with high clouds and warmer temperatures. Winds will be slope dominated at lower elevations and westerly at higher elevation. Minimum humidity will be 24-29%. Thursday morning will see a cold front moving in to the area with cooler temperatures, cloud cover, increased northerly winds and possible snow showers in the afternoon.


Forest Service Roads: Owl Creek Pass Road (FSR 858) from the forest boundary up to Owl Creek Pass), Cow Creek Road (FSR 857) and West Fork Road (FSR 860) from Owl Creek Pass. Forest Service Trails (FST): Stealey Mountain South Trail (FST 258), Courthouse Trail (FST 218), Stealey Mountain North Trail (FST 219), Old Owl Creek Trail (FST 236), Cow Creek Trail (FST 220), Wetterhorn Basin Trail (FST 226), Spalding Park Trail (FST 237), FST 219.1B, 236.1B, 236.1A, and 144.

Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs): TFRs are in place in the area around the fire to provide for the safety of firefighting aircraft and crews on the ground. Unauthorized use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), or drones, by the public is prohibited near active wildfires. If you fly, we can’t.

Fire Restrictions: There are currently no fire restrictions in place. Campers and hunters are reminded to never leave a campfire unattended and to make sure it is completely out using the “drown, stir, feel” method before leaving an area.


Incident Information






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