Southern Ute Tribal Seal

Montezuma Creek Incident Update

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 06, 2018 at 9:20 a.m.
For more information, please contact:
Steve Orr at 720.339.4213,
Jim Mackensen at 503.701.1437,
Christine Sage, Chairman, at 970.563.2313,

Montezuma Creek Incident Update

A lightning storm on June 3, 2018 started a series of fires on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. On the afternoon of June 4, firefighters from multiple agencies responded to reports of smoke and found multiple fires in the southeast corner of the reservation. At 18:00 the Durango Interagency Incident Management Team assumed management of the fires, which they are calling the Montezuma Creek Incident.

As of 0800 on June 6, 2018 the largest of the fires, the Montezuma Creek Fire, was 20% contained at 8 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 2 acres and 75% contained. It is expected to be fully contained today.

A total of 10 other small fires were located and are all 100% 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 1 hotshot crew, 3 hand crews, 8 engines, 2 water tenders, and 1 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.