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Cow Creek Fire

Unit Information

Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests
U.S. Forest Service
2250 South Main St.
Delta, CO 81416

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This incident is no longer being updated.

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:

For More Information:

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

Grand, Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests website




Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
CauseUnknown-under Investigation
Date of OriginWednesday October 16th, 2019 approx. 06:30 AM
Location9 miles east of Ridgway, south of Chimney Rock and Courthouse Mountain.
Incident CommanderHoward McGuire, Incident Commander; Derek Pabloff, Incident Commander (T)
Incident DescriptionWildfire
Coordinates38.113 latitude, -107.601 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel30
Size859 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained100%
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 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.

Current Weather

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.

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