Cow Creek fire slowed by snow

The fire is 8 miles east of Ridgway, Colorado

Cow Creek Fire map 3-D
3-D map of the Cow Creek fire showing (in red) the perimeter at 12:27 a.m. MDT October 19, 2019. The white line was the perimeter about 48 hours before. Looking east.

Two to three inches of snow Saturday night slowed the spread of the Cow Fire 27 miles southeast of Montrose, Colorado (see map). Firefighters said the heavy vegetation in the fire area is still extremely dry.

The fire has burned at least 785 acres, but that figure has not been updated since Saturday morning because the mapping flight Saturday night was scrubbed due to strong winds.

In spite of the cooler temperatures and precipitation, they expect creeping, smoldering, and single tree torching on Sunday with the humidity in the 20s and a 13 mph northwest wind. After overnight temperatures in the teens at Ridgway Sunday night the forecast for Monday is 47 degrees, partly sunny, 10-13 mph west wind, and the humidity dropping into the 30s.

(To see all articles on Wildfire Today about the Cow Creek Fire, including the most recent, click here.)

The Rocky Mountain Type 2 Incident Management Blue Team with Incident Commander Mike Haydon assumed command Saturday at 7 p.m. after transitioning with the local Type 3 team.

Cow Creek Fire
Cow Creek Fire posted October 18, 2019 before two to three inches of snow. Photo by Josh Oak.

Firefighters will be monitoring backing fire activity on the southwest side of the fire as it moves downhill towards Cow Creek. On the north and northeast sides crews are scouting for locations to build fireline where it would be most successful should the fire advance. Firefighters have completed a fire line on the east side.

Cow Creek Fire map
Map of the Cow Creek fire showing the perimeter at 12:27 a.m. MDT October 19, 2019.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

3 thoughts on “Cow Creek fire slowed by snow”

  1. Stay warm Brothers and Sisters.
    It could be a challenge.
    We didn’t get much snow in Glendo.
    Safe travels.
    Ed, Team Black

    1. Yes they do, absolutely. Especially on fall fires or late summer up north/at elevation. Summer drought conditions remain and fire activity can bounce back even after a decent snow. Been there many times mopping up heavies in a few inches of snow, then chasing hot line days (or hours) later once the snow clears and a bit of drying happens to bring the light fuels back online.

      I dont think that this is unique or indicative one way or the other regarding Climate Change, just a thing that happens every fall. That’s why we start throwing puffys in the line pack in September.

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