New Fire Start—Winchester Fire
Montrose, Colorado, Aug. 7, 2023
Name: Winchester
Location: Uncompahgre Wilderness on the west side of Cow Creek, on a southeast facing slope near Winchester gulch. Approximately 6 miles southeast of Ridgway and 7 miles northeast of Ouray.
Size: Approx. 0.10 acres
Cause: Lightning
Threatened Structures: 0
At approximately 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023, smoke was reported east of Ridgway after a lightning storm passed through the area. Due to the remote location and rugged terrain, firefighters were unable to respond immediately to the site. However, lookouts and aircraft have monitored the area in the days following the report.
The fire is less than 0.10 acre in size with low spread potential. No heat or smoke has been detected since the morning of Aug. 2. The primary strategy is to monitor the fire using lookouts and aircraft due to steep, rocky terrain, long and difficult access routes by ground and the risks associated with inserting firefighters into the area by helicopter. Firefighter and public safety are always the top priority when developing strategies and tactics.
Fire managers would like to remind forest users to continue to be attentive of their actions and surroundings, especially in areas with dry vegetation or dead/down trees. Practice smart wildfire prevention behavior including never leaving a campfire unattended, using established campfire rings, picking safe and proper campfire sites and ensuring that their fires are completely out and cool to the touch by using the drown, stir and feel method.

Fire Information Links:
Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests Fire Information: (970) 874-6602
GMUG Fire Info Facebook:
Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests website:
West Slope Fire Information:


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