Terrain Satellite
Cow Creek
28.3 mi
SSE of Montrose, CO
7 months
it's burned for
Last Updated:
6 months ago
Incident #:
Fire Start:
Wednesday, October 16, 2019 12:30 AM MDT

Current Weather

Fire Growth Potential

Fire Weather Forecast

Incident Overview Updated: 7 months ago

GMUG Lifts Cow Creek Closures

Delta, Colorado, Oct. 28, 2019 — Effective Monday, October 28, the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests will lift all areas within the closure around the Cow Creek Fire. 

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: Cow Creek Trail (FST 220), Stealey Mountain South Trail (FST 258), and Courthouse Trail (FST 218), Stealey Mountain North Trail (FST 219), Old Owl Creek Trail (FST 236), Wetterhorn Basin Trail (FST 226), Spalding Park Trail (FST 237), FST 219.1B, 236.1B, 236.1A, and 144.

The public will be able to access Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests lands in and around the fire area, which had been closed to ensure public and firefighter safety during ongoing fire operations.

 “The potential hazards are still something we urge the public to understand and to prepare accordingly,” said Ouray District Ranger Dana Gardunio. “We want them to be able to get back on the forest safely, but also remember that these areas will be impacted for some time and will have a greater risk than other areas. We want to thank the public for their compliance while the closure has been in effect, and we really appreciate the public’s patience and cooperation since the start of the fire on October 16.”

Due to the lack of significant moisture over the fire area, isolated pockets of heat and smoke may still be found within the fire area. The public is advised to have heightened awareness about potential safety hazards and exercise increased caution regarding personal safety while in the area. Remember to look up, down and all around for unstable trees and unstable ground.

Potential risks in any area recently burned by wildfire include the following:

Burned out stump holes that could cause injury if stepped in; Unstable terrain with potential for rolling debris (boulders, logs, rocks, etc.); Fire weakened trees and snags that could fall or drop large limbs; Blowing dust and ash on roads and hillsides.

For additional information, please visit Cow Creek  Fire Inciweb Page: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6647/

For More Information:

Grand, Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests Fire Information 970-765-8490

Grand, Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests website www.fs.usda.gov/gmug

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GMUGFireInfo/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GMUG_NF


Basic Information

Incident Type:
Unknown-under Investigation
Date of Origin:
Wednesday October 16th, 2019 approx. 06:30 AM
9 miles east of Ridgway, south of Chimney Rock and Courthouse Mountain.
Incident Commander:
Howard McGuire, Incident Commander; Derek Pabloff, Incident Commander (T)
Incident Description:
38.113, -107.601

Current Situation

Total Personnel:
Size (Acres):
Fuels Involved:
Timber, brush, and tall grass. Heavy dead and down similar to a light logging slash fuel model.
Significant Events:
Minimal, creeping, smoldering. Predicted snow showers will reduce fire behavior.

Planned Outlook

Planned Actions:
The Type 4 organization continues to familiarize with indirect line options and assess northern fire growth potential. Resources will patrol lines where safe.
Projected Incident Activity:
Expect minimal spread of fire with colder weather and chances of snow. Smoldering, creeping and backing. Continued reduced fire activity due to residual effects of recent precipitation. Smoldering and creeping with minimal spread.

Weather Synopsis

Weather Concerns:
Moisture will move through much of eastern Utah and western Colorado over the next several days as two storm systems bring early season snow to the central Rockies. Expect a much cooler day on Sunday, with temperatures continuing to drop well below normal for all of next week. All mountain ranges of Colorado will see snowfall on Sunday into Monday with a second shot of snow coming on Tuesday into Wednesday. Gusty, erratic winds are expected near any showers or thunderstorms.

Incident Contact

Incident Contact
Cow Creek Fire Information Office
Phone: 970-765-8490
Hours: 8 am-5 pm
Fire Unit Information
Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests
U.S. Forest Service
2250 South Main St.
Delta, CO 81416