Cow Canyon Fire Update October 20, 2020

Location of Origin: Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, Alpine Ranger District

Start Date: August 18, 2020                                        

Size: Approximately 33,654 Acres

Cause: Lightning                                                              

Percent Contained: 15

  Personnel: 121                                                                 

  Resources Assigned: 14


Alpine, AZ – October 20, 2020 – The Cow Canyon Fire is burning in a remote location within the Blue Range Primitive Area near the Arizona and New Mexico state border. 26,486 acres of the fire are located on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, and 7,168 acres are burning on the Gila National Forest.


Operations: The Cow Canyon fire has reached a management action trigger point near the northern boundary. In response, crews today have begun burnout operations along the Pueblo Park road (Forest Road 232, New Mexico County Road #13) to keep the fire to the south of it. The burnout operations are critical to keeping ahead of the fire, which is moving through Steeple and Hinkle Canyons, and to keep the fire south of FR232/NM County Rd #13 so that the community of Luna, NM is not threatened. Prep work has been completed along contingency lines on the western and northern boundaries, and crews will closely monitor fire activity near trigger points in the Blue River area for potential burnout operations in the future. 


Values at risk: Management objectives are to keep the fire east of the Blue River, and to provide protection for structures, cultural resources and historical sites. No values at risk have been impacted by the fire.


Closures: A temporary area closure is in effect and includes some recreational trails that are closed to protect public health and safety due to wildland fire activities in the restricted area. The temporary area closure and maps can be found at


Weather: A drying trend continues this week with no precipitation in the forecast. High winds are expected through Wednesday with higher humidity levels, then cooler conditions and gusty winds are forecast later in the week.


Restrictions: The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests enacted Stage 1 Fire restrictions to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires during periods of high fire danger and severe fire weather conditions. The Forest Order can be found at  


Safety: Smoke is expected to travel in the direction of the US Highway 180 corridor and settling overnight into the areas of Glenwood, NM and Cliff, NM. For air quality information go to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, and for air quality information in New Mexico go to the New Mexico Environmental Health Department.


  Information: Updates can be found on the official incident web page at


  Cow Canyon Fire Update (PDF)

  Cow Canyon Fire Map (PDF)

  Cow Canyon Fire Smoke Outlook (PDF)