Fire crews held Cox Canyon Fire to ten acres

Regional air resources drop fire retardant, or slurry, on the Cox Canyon Fire located on tribal land within the Southern Ute Reservation. The fire broke out Saturday, July 9 and reached 10 acres in size prior to containment.
Photo Credit: Courtesy Howard Richards Jr.

The Cox Canyon Fire, located on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation, was mapped at ten acres. A smoke check was called in, Thursday, July 7; the cause of the fire remains under investigation. Fire fuels in the area include sagebrush, juniper, and cedar trees.  

Crews from the Southern Ute Agency Fire Management, Los Piños Fire Protection District Brush 88, and Zuni Hot Shots collaborated on fire suppression efforts over the weekend. Air resources were ordered to aid in the initial fire attack allowing ground crews to assess the area and begin spotting to hold the fire in place. 

Smoke was visible from the US Hwy 550 corridor. To observe the air quality status, please visit the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Air Quality Ambient Monitor page at 

The Tribe coordinated with local agencies to minimize the impact of the fire. The Tribe worked with oil and gas operators in the area to shut-in facilities in the vicinity of the fire to mitigate any potential impact to energy operations and first responder’s ability to contain the fire. 

As a reminder, Stage 1 Fire Restrictions were enacted for Southern Ute Indian Reservation on June 21, 2022, and will remain in effect until conditions improve.  

Stage I Fire Restrictions prohibits acts for the general public, commercial operators, and industrial oil and gas operators performing work on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. 


General Public: 

Prohibited acts: 

  1. OPEN BURNING.  Burning of trash and/or yard waste is prohibited.  
  2. AGRICULTURAL BURNING.  Burning of crop land, fields, rangeland, debris burning, slash piles, prescribed burning and weed burning are prohibited. 
  3. CAMPFIRES.  Building, maintaining or using a warming fire or campfire outside of officially designated or developed camp sites is prohibited.  The fire restrictions do not include charcoal fires (in suitable containers) for barbeques or fires for sweat ceremonies, however, such fires are not to be left unattended and are to be fully extinguished after use. 
  4. FIREWORKS.  Possession, discharging or use of any type or fireworks is prohibited. 

Commercial and Industrial restrictions can be obtained from the BIA Fire Office at 575 County Road 517 or by calling 970-563-4571. 

Anyone violating the provisions of this fire ban may be subject to prosecution outlined in the Southern Ute Indian Criminal Code. 

For more information on the Cox Canyon Fire, please visit the Southern Ute Indian Tribe website, and follow the Southern Ute Indian Tribe on social media.  

To report fires contact:       

  • Durango Zone Dispatch: 970-385-1324 

For more info or to report Fire Restriction Violations contact:  

  • BIA Fire Management 970-563-4571 
  • Southern Ute Police Department 970-563-4401 


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