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Wildfire breaks out on Ute Mountain Ute land

A small wildfire in burning on Sleeping Ute Mountain northwest of Towaoc. (Courtesy photo)
Air attack dropping retardant; no structures threatened

A small wildfire was burning Friday on Ute Mountain Ute land northwest of Towaoc.

The Bowl Fire has burned less than a half-acre in a rugged area on the eastern flanks of Sleeping Ute Mountain, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. It was discovered at 12:49 p.m. Friday.

The fire is being fought by firefighting crews with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, said Ute Mountain Ute Public Safety Director Tom Stephenson.

Helicopters could be seen dropping fire retardant on the blaze Friday afternoon. White smoke was visible from Towaoc.

Stephenson said a federal firefighting crew prepared to reach the fire from the ground.

The cause of the fire has not been determined, he said. A small storm cloud was over the area earlier in the day. No level of containment was reported by the Fire Center.

There was no threat to public safety or to structures.

“It is burning in a remote, difficult area to access,” Stephenson said.

There have been a handful of lightning-sparked fires this summer on Ute Mountain Ute land, and they were controlled before getting of hand, he said.