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Montezuma Creek Incident Update

The Montezuma Creek Fire burning on Southern Ute Indian Reservation can be seen in the distance.
Photo Credit: PHOTO COURTESY Stephen Orr | Durango Interagency Incident Management Team

A lightning storm on Sunday, June 3, started a series of fires on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. On the afternoon of Monday, June 4, firefighters from multiple agencies responded to reports of smoke and found multiple fires in the southeast corner of the reservation. At 1800 (6 p.m.) the Durango Interagency Incident Management Team assumed management of the fires, which they are calling the Montezuma Creek Incident.

As of 0800 (8 a.m.) on Wednesday, June 6, the largest of the fires, the Montezuma Creek Fire, was 20 percent contained at eight acres. The fire is located on a very steep slope and a Type 1 hotshot crew has been ordered to assist the other crews working on the fire. The only other sizeable fire is called the Kerns Canyon Fire and is currently two acres and 75 percent contained. It is expected to be fully contained today.

A total of 10 other small fires were located and are all 100 percent contained at less than 1/10 acre each. There were no accidents or injuries reported yesterday. A total of 140 people will be assigned to the incident today, including one hotshot crew, three hand crews, eight engines, two water tenders, and one bulldozer. Today crews will focus on constructing line and cooling any hot spots on the two remaining fires.

Continued warm and dry conditions are forecasted across the region. Stage 2 fire restrictions remain in place for most of Southwest Colorado. Local residents are encouraged to prepare their homes and properties for wildfire and be registered with their county’s emergency notification system.

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