U.S. Forest Service officials confirmed a spot fire has ignited to the north of the original Cow Creek Fire and they are aware of the second smoke column that has developed, visible from Ridgway. Embers from the fire, carried by wind, are assumed to have sparked this nearby blaze.

Dry, windy conditions hampered firefighting efforts today and a Type 3 Incident Management team has been assigned to the fire.

Ouray County currently does not have any fire restrictions in place. Sheriff Lance FitzGerald is scheduled to address county commissioners on Tuesday about adopting a resolution to put a limited fire ban in place in unincorporated Ouray County.

Officials are now saying the Cow Creek Fire is burning approximately 85 acres, after receiving information from aerial resources that flew over the fire and assessed it overnight.

According to Kim Phillips, U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman, other aerial resources are still being coordinated. “We’re still trying to get a pulse on what resources are coming in,” she said. On Wednesday, firefighters attempted to drop some water on the fire but were hampered by the amount of dry fuels in the mixed conifer forest, including dead trees.

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